A significant milestone has been reached regarding the Massachusetts Medical Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment form and process better known as MOLST. This month National POLST Paradigm, a 43 state collaborative, upgraded Massachusetts from “unaffiliated” to “active” status.
This achievement is the result of a statewide collaborative process, including the 28-member MA MOLST Advisory Committee, a subcommittee of the Department of Public Health Palliative Care & Quality of Life Interdisciplinary Advisory Council. The committee voted in September to recommend that Massachusetts adopt the new National POLST form and process. The committee has been working diligently since May of 2017 to bring the Commonwealth’s serious illness and MOLST form and process into compliance with the national standard.
“The new national from and process offers no cost, standardized, evidence based tools that consumers can use to understand serious illness care and their treatment choices, and help empower both the consumer and the care provider to have meaningful effective planning conversations,” says Ellen DiPaola, who is the chair of the subcommittee and is also President and CEO of Coalition member Honoring Choices Massachusetts. Having one National POLST form will make it easier for patient wishes to be known and honored, to conduct the necessary research and quality assurance to improve the form, and to educate people about its use, so it can be used correctly in locations nationwide.
If adopted for use in the Commonwealth, the new form and process will also provide invaluable support to build-in a successful governing structure and implementation process. The forms will be made available in several languages and the tools for consumers and care providers will be available for them to download for free.
Read more about the collaborative process and progress to date here.