Provider Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST)

The Foundation for Healthy Communities has served as the leading resource for advance care and end of life care planning, including POLST, for patients and their families, medical providers, hospitals and health systems throughout the state since 1998.  

Provider Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) plays an integral role in advance care planning to improve the quality of care for patients who are seriously ill by creating a voluntary process that identifies, documents, communicates and honors patient medical treatment wishes through shared-decision making and portable medical orders that are honored across all care settings.  It is a voluntary program for patients and providersthat is designed to improve the understanding and communication of a patient’s medical care choices when patients move among different care settings (e.g. nursing home to hospital, hospital to hospice, etc.)   

Better care transitions and reducing preventable hospital re-admissions is a key priority for the Foundation for Healthy Communities through the work it conducts under the NH Partnership for Patients Initiative.

The POLST Program in New Hampshire is guided by the NH Healthcare Decisions Coalition, a multi-disciplinary statewide group that continuously seeks to improve health decision making processes.  Resources to assist POLST development in healthcare organizations include:


*Attention Medical Providers - the Provider Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) form was recently updated (August 2017) with important changes that closer align the POLST language with the New Hampshire statute regarding the Portable DNR as well as national standards.  To order new POLST forms for your patients, please contact us at (603) 225-0900.


New Hampshire’s POLST Program, coordinated by the Foundation for Healthy Communities, was recently recognized by The National POLST Paradigm Task Force (NPPTF) as a nationally endorsed state POLST Program.  This national endorsement is given to only one entity per state that has met the requirements, standards and fundamental principles as indicated by the National POLST Paradigm.   Programs endorsed by the NPPTF have addressed legal and regulatory issues associated with POLST Paradigm Forms and processes, and have developed strategies for ongoing implementation and quality assurance.


For more information on the National POLST Paradigm Task Force, click here.


To read the full press release on the Foundation for Healthy Communities' POLST Program receiving national recognition, click here.