The Oregon POLST Registry - first of its kind in the U.S. - began when EMS could not immediately access POLST forms for their patients during emergencies. The access to a POLST Registry led to 94% of patients having their end-of-life wishes being delivered. However, most states, including CA and MD, still do not have such a registry. A SUPPORT study found that a third of terminally ill patients did not want CPR but less than half of their physicians knew of their preference. This forces patients to have the burden of worrying whether they will get the right care or not.
What it does
The application detects all important sections of a scanned California POLST form and transfers them onto the patient's chart in a condensed, clear, and coherent way. The nurses no longer have to spend more time transcribing and documenting health information. With POLST information on the chart, doctors will also be aware of the patient's end-of-life preferences. The application also develops a small, portable card with all end-of-life preferences listed, so that at-risk patients can carry it at all times. During emergencies, EMS will know the patient's wishes.
Challenges we ran into
Each state has its own POLST form, making synchronization very difficult. MedHacks was the first hackathan for four of our teammates, making this a great learning experience.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
The application successfully transcribes an entire form that would otherwise take up significant time to manually transcribe by nurses. With thousands of POLST forms each year, the time saved can be utilized to increase patient care and quality.
What we learned
We learned about end-of-life documents and how to manipulate HTML via CSS.
What's next for EndKit
We would like to include all end-of-life documents into this condensed form. There are multiple forms, including Living Will, Advanced Directive, and Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare. Through consolidation of all these forms into one document, healthcare providers can access all end-of-life wishes easily. We would also like to make this application compatible with the respective forms of each state.