Health Care Professionals

NEW: Communicating in a Crisis: Skills to Honor Previously Determined Preference for Medical Care

Practical communication techniques demonstrated for having conversations about goals of care with seriously ill patients (and their surrogates) who have pre-existing POLST orders to limit treatments. Watch the video


The Oregon POLST Registry became available for statewide use in late 2009. The law creating the Registry in no way requires a patient to have a POLST form. However, when a patient elects to complete or revise a POLST form, the signing health care professional must submit the form to the Registry, unless the patient opts out of the Registry. This new requirement or “cause to be submitted” went into effect December 3, 2009.

How does the Registry work?

» Completed POLST forms are submitted to the Registry

» Forms are reviewed for validity (see next section for required form elements)

» Forms are entered into a secure electronic database and checked for accuracy

» Once checked, form information is available for health care providers caring for patients

» Non-urgent POLST form requests can be made through the Registry Business office, Mon-Thurs, 7:30-4

» First responders or other emergency health care providers can call the Registry Hotline, located at the OHSU Emergency Communications Center, when a paper POLST form cannot be located.

» Emergent requests (from first responders, Emergency Departments and ICUs) are handled by the Registry Hotline staff 24 hours/day, 7 days/week.

What is needed on the form to be submitted to the Registry?

» The patient’s full name

» Date of birth

» A legible physician/NP/PA/ND signature*

» A legible date signed

» At least one order section must be completed for entry into the Registry**

*”Signed” means a physical signature, electronic signature or verbal order documented per standard medical practice. Refer to OAR 333-270-0030

**The Registry cannot accept POLST forms marked “Resuscitate”(Section A) and “Comfort Measures Only” (Section B). These orders cannot be interpreted by EMS. Additional  information can be found in the Oregon POLST Program’s, Guidance for Oregon’s Health Care Professionals.

How do we submit forms to the Registry?

Develop a procedure for office/facility staff to submit newly completed POLST forms to the Registry including:

» Once completed, copy form—both sides

» Verify all required information is present and legible

» Give original to the patient

» Submit form to the Registry

By Fax: 503-418-2161

By Mail:   Oregon POLST Registry

Mail Code: BTE234

3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd

Portland, OR 97239

Electronically: eSubmit

What follow up is provided by the Registry?

The Registry will send the patient a confirmation packet that includes a letter, Registry ID refrigerator magnet, and set of stickers for easy reference and display.

Can my office request copies of POLST forms?Yes! The Registry business office is happy to provide copies of registered POLST forms to health care providers and hospital HIM departments. To request a copy of a POLST form, simply contact the business office, and provide documentation (required) indicating the patient is in the care of your institution. A Registry staff member will then send a copy of the requested POLST to your secure fax within 1 business day. Large requests, for multiple patients’ POLST forms,  may require additional time.

Additional Resources

Frequently Asked Questions: Health Care Professionals

Information for Health Care Professionals

OPR Brochure for Patients

Registry ID Request Cover Sheet

POLST Registry Quick Reference Guide

House Bill 2009 Enrolled Condensed

Oregon Administrative Rules 333-270


POLST Doing it Better: An educational video for health care professionals that describes POLST, clarifies which individuals POLST should be offered to, emphasizes best practices for POLST and corrects some common misconceptions.