I think it is important to note the National POLST Paradigm offers "endorsement" status to programs that meet the criteria for a fully functioning program; the "mature" status is reserved for states who also fund research and more extensive quality measurement (California has recently been added to this list). Any state with an "endorsed" program, and many in the "developing" stage have programs that work very well statewide or in specific communities. In Washington, we are one of the oldest POLST programs in the country, starting in 2001, but because we operate without a large staff and do not participate in research, we qualify as endorsed, but not "mature". Washingtonians everywhere can complete POLST forms with their providers and emergency medical service responders (EMS) across the state are trained to recognize and honor them (state statutes indicate that they can ONLY follow medical orders and CANNOT provide care based on an advance directive, even if one is available).

Please encourage people to check the complete list of programs on the website for contact information by state; this will allow them to see if a POLST-paradigm program is available in their state or area.

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Thanks for the helpful and useful information, especially the part about EMS recongnize and follow the POLST, but not Advanced Directives. Did not know that.

I just printed out the POLST form for my state. Thanks again for sharing.

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