The Portable Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) registry was created for individuals to document in advance the types or extent of medical treatment that they would like performed in the event that they are incapacitated and unable to communicate their wishes to the emergency medical term.

Someone is entered into the POLST registry once they complete an official POLST form with their medical provider. The POLST form is a set of medical resuscitation orders that facilitate appropriate treatment by paramedics and emergency personnel in the event of a medical emergency. It is generally intended for patients who are medically frail, terminally ill or have chronic or progressive illness.

The Oregon POLST Registry is a secure electronic record of a patient’s POLST orders. The POLST registry serves as a backup, allowing emergency health care professionals treating a patient to access POLST orders if a paper POLST form cannot be found.

An image showing a POST registry number OR00000 and the words "Patient Name"
Image source: Oregon POLST Registry. Used with permission.

Some situations in which you should look for a POLST form or access the POLST Registry on scene:

  • If the patient is medically frail, terminally ill or has chronic illness.
  • You locate an OPR magnet or sticker with a Registry ID.
  • If a bystander, family member, or caregiver states there may be a POLST form but cannot provide a copy.

Ways to access electronic POLST orders:

  • Call the confidential POLST Registry Hotline
  • Search the Oregon Registries for EMS (OREMS) app on your mobile device.

What patient information will you need when calling the Registry Hotline or searching the app?

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Registry ID
  • Last 4 digits of SSN
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Address

What if I have questions about the POLST orders?

Registry staff cannot interpret POLST orders.  If there is a question about how to proceed with the POLST information provided, contact Online Medical Control (OLMC).  Hospital staff should follow their standard protocols.

Additional information and further reading:

Oregon POLST Resources (including EMS scope of practice rules)

POLST Guidance for Oregon HCPs POLST FAQs for EMS

2019 Oregon POLST form front page only. Form fields exist for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, medical interventions including comfort measures, selective treatment and full treatment, and Discussed With (required) and Acknowledgement (recommended but not required) sections.
Image source: Oregon POLST Registry. Used with permission.

The original copy of this book resides at openoregon.pressbooks.pub/emslabmanual. If you are reading this work at an alternate web address, it may contain content that has not been vetted by the original authors and physician reviewers.



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Oregon EMS Psychomotor Skills Lab Manual Copyright © 2023 by Chris Hamper, BS, NRP; Carmen Curtz, Paramedic, BS; Holly A. Edwins, Paramedic, B.S.; and Jamie Kennel, PhD, MAS, NRP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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