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Cleve Clin J Med. 2012 Jul;79(7):457-64. doi: 10.3949/ccjm.79a.11098.

POLST: An improvement over traditional advance directives.

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  • 1Department of Geriatrics, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Rochester, NY, USA.


Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) is a process that translates a patient's goals for care at the end of life into medical orders that follow the patient across care settings. POLST overcomes the limitations of traditional advance directives. It enables physicians and other health care professionals, through a conversation with a patient or surrogate, to assess and convey the wishes of patients with serious life-limiting illness who may have a life expectancy of less than 1 year, or of anyone of advanced age interested in defining his or her wishes for end-of-life care.

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