In the past year, advanced care planning has become a subject of conversation.
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A study out of the Indiana University Center for Aging at the Regenstrief Institute revealed that current Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) are com-monly out of date with residents treatment preferences. According to lead researcher, Susan Hickman, Ph.D.,
“Our finding that nursing home residents or their surro-gate decision-makers often no longer agreed with their POLST form highlights the critical need to work with nursing homes, residents and their families to ensure these documents are reviewed regularly and updated to reflect current situations and preferences.”
The study, published online in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, details researchers findings that of the 275 study participants, less than 50% of their POLST forms matched current treatment desires for resuscitation, medical interventions and artificial nursing. It also revealed that a large number of participants werent interested in updating the document.
“Obviously, nursing homes and clinicians need to work on educating people about the importance of these decisions and we are working to help them with these efforts,” stated Hickman.
Previous studies indicate that POLST forms make it three times more likely that a resident’s treatment preferences will be Known. Open dialogue between LIC facilities, residents and caregivers Is essential to ensuring advanced care planning is accurate and up-to-date.