Implementing Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment in California Hospitals: Factors Associated with Adoption.
J Am Geriatr Soc. 2013 Jul 18;
Authors: Sugiyama T, Zingmond D, Lorenz KA, Diamant A, O'Malley K, Citko J, Gonzalez V, Wenger NS
Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) is a tool to document and ensure continuity of end-of-life treatment decisions across healthcare settings that became a legal document in California in January 2009. Hospitals were surveyed to evaluate factors associated with uptake of this intervention and whether a grassroots community coalition intervention facilitated dissemination. A mail and telephone survey of all acute care hospitals in California was conducted between August 2011 and January 2012, and community coalition reports of interaction with hospitals and hospital characteristics from the California Office of Statewide Planning and Development and Census ZIP Code Tabulation Areas were analyzed. Of 349 hospitals, 286 (81.9%) responded to the survey. Sixty-five percent of hospitals had a policy about POLST, 87% had available blank POLST forms, 84% had educated staff, and 94% reported handling POLST properly in the emergency department and on admission. In multivariable analyses, hospitals in poor areas and for-profit (vs nonprofit) hospitals were less likely to stock blank POLST forms and to have educated staff, and hospitals with community coalition interaction and in wealthier areas were more likely to handle POLST forms correctly. Although POLST is widely used in California, a significant minority of hospitals remain unprepared 3 years after implementation. Efforts to improve implementation should emphasize dissemination in poorer areas and in for-profit hospitals.
PMID: 23865958 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]