What is POST?
A POST form is a physician-signed order form which communicates and puts into action treatment preferences when a person is near the end of their life. The POST form is transferable across care settings. For example, if you are in a nursing facility and need to go to the hospital for treatment, your POST form will travel with you so the hospital will know your treatment preferences. Click POST to see a sample of the Virginia POST Form. The Virginia POST form was modeled after the Oregon POLST form which has been in use for almost 20 years.
Who should have a POST Form?
Anyone dealing with a chronic progressive illness, is frail and elderly or has a terminal illness should have a POST form.
How do I get a POST form?
The POST form should be completed only after having an advanced care planning discussion between yourself and your physician or a trained POST Advance Care Planning Facilitator (ACPF) at the direction of the physician.
If you are hospitalized or in a nursing facility, POST may also be offered there as well. Ask your physician or nurse if POST would be appropriate for you or your loved ones.
What is the difference between POST and my Advance Care Plan (Advance Directive)?
Advance Care Plans (Advance Directives, Living Wills, Medical Power of Attorney) are statements of the healthcare wishes of the person. Advance Care Plans (ACP) can also appoint a Medical Power of Attorney (Health Care Agent) as well as an Agent for making organ and tissue donations. The ACP helps guide your family and physicians in what type of treatment you may or may not want. ACP’s can and are encouraged to be completed by all adults. ACP’s are NOT medical orders and will not be accepted by EMS personnel. POST forms are for people nearing the end of life. The POST form is a set of specific medical orders directing your health care providers in your care as you near the end of your life. Any treatments you outline in your ACP must then be written into a physician’s orders, such as POST forms, before they can be implemented.
Will my POST be honored?
Yes. Once a POST is created, it is a physician’s order and will be followed as such.