Implementation of a Novel Electronic Health Record-Embedded Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment System

Dana Zive, Jennifer Cook, Charissa Yang, David Sibell, Susan W. Tolle, Michael Lieberman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


In April 2015, Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) deployed a web-based, electronic medical record-embedded application created by third party vendor Vynca Inc. to allow real-time education, and completion of Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST). Forms are automatically linked to the Epic Systems™ electronic health record (EHR) patient header and submitted to a state Registry, improving efficiency, accuracy, and rapid access to and retrieval of these important medical orders. POLST Forms, implemented in Oregon in 1992, are standardized portable medical orders used to document patient treatment goals for end-of-life care. In 2009, Oregon developed the first POLST-only statewide registry with a legislative mandate requiring POLST form signers to register the form unless the patient opts out. The Registry offers 24/7 emergency access to POLST Forms for Emergency Medical Services, Emergency Departments, and Acute Care Units. Because POLST is intended for those nearing end of life, immediate access to these forms at the time of an emergency is critical. Delays in registering a POLST Form may result in unwanted treatment if the paper form is not immediately available. An electronic POLST Form completion system (ePOLST) was implemented to support direct Registry submission. Other benefits of the system include single-sign-on, transmission of HL7 data for patient demographics and other relevant information, elimination of potential errors in form completion using internalized logic, built-in real-time video and text-based education materials for both patients and health care professionals, and mobile linkage for signature capture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number245
JournalJournal of Medical Systems
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Advance Care Planning
  • Third-Party EMR Integration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Information Systems
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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