For Healthcare Professionals
POLST is a process that enables health care providers to facilitate good patient care. POLST provides a structure for conversations about end of life issues and patient preferences for treatment as the end of life nears. A completed POLST form turns those preferences into medical orders that follow patients across care settings.
During this COVID-19 pandemic, goals of care conversations and POLST forms may be completed without the opportunity to have an in-person conversation. The best practice to obtain consent for a tele-health conversation is to follow an organizational policy that addresses verbal consents and to fully document the conversation in the medical record. Include:
- Who was engaged in the conversation, patient or surrogate?
- Were family members or others included?
- If the patient, was it clear that he/she was capable of understanding the discussion and able to make health care treatment decisions?
- When and how is the form being transmitted to location where patient is receiving care?
As soon as possible, the patient or surrogate signature should be obtained.