POLST: Avoiding the Seven Deadly Sins March/April 2018
Arizona EMS support AzPOLST
End-of-life care is improving in Arizona, thanks to the hard work and dedication of EMS representatives who led the recent adoption of a new protocol by the Arizona Department of Health Services Emergency Medical Services Council. The Council newly revised its Do Not Resuscitate Status/Advance Directives/Healthcare Power of Attorney Status: Adult & Pediatric protocol to include honoring MOST, MOLST, or POLST directives. EMS representatives spent months working with an end-of-life task force, reviewing national models and collecting evidence-based practices. The protocol adoption is a first for Arizona and demonstrates tremendous progress in the state’s approach to end-of-life care.
The task force is led by Sandy Severson, Vice President of Care Improvement at Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA), and is part of a statewide coalition known as Thoughtful Life Conversations. The coalition is leading work to empower Arizonans to make their life wishes and care directives known and to equip their healthcare teams with resources to honor them. As an advocate for policies that promote patients and their families having the most control over their end-of-life care, AzHHA is leading the development and adoption of Arizona Provider Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment. EMS providers are contributing to this effort, as well, and are integrally involved in the rollout of legal safeguards for Arizonans’ end-of-life wishes.