The Provider Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) is both a medical order and legal document that translates a conversation between a patient and their provider regarding end-of-life treatment wishes to an actionable medical order, which all healthcare providers are to honor.
Any patient, whose death in the next year would not surprise you, is a candidate for POLST. The very frail elderly, those near the end of a life-limiting illness or those who are candidates for hospice are typical POLST candidates.
Integral to the POLST process is a conversation with the patient, or if lacking capacity, their representative or surrogate. It is important to explain what the POLST choices will most likely mean for the patient should they experience a life-threatening crisis.