Large state-by-state variations exist in location of dying and level of aggressive treatment during the final phase of life. This paper describes Oregon's incremental gains toward improving advance planning for end-of-life care in a state with the lowest rate of in-hospital deaths. Action strategies have required data gathering and reporting, and coalition building with a focus on systems change. Also, public education through the news media has proved to be a vital component of Oregon's process of change. The impact of media coverage is complemented by continuing education for health professionals. Special efforts are still needed to improve access to the Physician's Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment program (POLST) for some rural, minority, and pediatric populations and for persons living at home with a diagnosis other than cancer. However, with enough time, a sustained effort, and a broad coalition of partners, profound change is possible.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine