The Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Paradigm program has now been adopted in the vast majority of states. It is designed to improve the quality of care people receive at the end of life. It is based on effective communication of patient wishes, documentation of medical orders on a brightly colored form and a promise by health care professionals to honor these wishes.
Palliative medicine is focused on improving the quality of life for patients with serious illnesses. In October 2008, the National Palliative Care Research Center issued a state-by-state report card on its availability and quality. Delaware was right in the middle of the states with a “C.”