POLST CaliforniaJoin the California HealthCare Foundation, the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California, and others, to explore the potential benefits of creating an online POLST registry, share results from Oregon’s successful POLST registry implementation, and discuss findings of a recent assessment that identified factors related to establishing a POLST registry in California.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Exploring the Need for a POLST Registry in California–Sacramento Briefing
California Chamber of Commerce Conference Room
1215 K Street at Esquire Plaza, 14th Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814

REGISTER NOW to attend online, in person, or by phone

Scheduled speakers include:

  • Robert Moore, MD, MPH, chief medical director for Partnership Health Plan
  • Judy Thomas, JD, executive director of the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California
  • Susan Tolle, MD, founding member of the Oregon POLST program and director of the Center for Ethics in Health Care at the Oregon Health & Science University
  • Neil Wenger, MD, MPH, director of the Health Ethics Center at UCLA

Lunch will be served to those in attendance. The briefing is open to all. Please share this information with others who might be interested.

Background

In an emergency, Californians don’t always get the kind of medical treatment they want, especially if they can’t speak for themselves and there is no readily available record of their preferences. Emergency medical professionals often need immediate access to this information so they can provide care that accommodates a patient’s wishes.

The Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) form enables seriously ill individuals to outline the treatments they do or do not want in emergency situations. The form, signed by both the patient and his or her doctor, lets other doctors, hospitals, and first responders provide or withhold medical treatment with the knowledge that they are adhering to the patient’s wishes.

California legislation enacted in 2009 requires health professionals to honor the preferences detailed in the POLST form wherever treatment is provided.

Currently, few health care systems are able to seamlessly share POLST information when a patient is transferred between locations, such as from a nursing home to a hospital. The absence of a way to share POLST across these settings can often impede providers from upholding patients’ wishes.

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