Sacred Cows & Data Cubes: A Conversation with Abby Dotson

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In the inaugural podcast of Sacred Cows & Data Cubes, host Jonathon Feit has a conversation with Abby Dotson, PhD, the director of the Oregon POLST Registry and research assistant professor of emergency medicine at Oregon Health & Science University.

When asked for her most compelling advice to anyone who might want to create or use a POLST registry to most benefit their medically frail patient community — particularly during times of crisis — Dr. Dotson offered up not one, but five key takeaways:

First: Technology is only as good as the education and outreach that go with it. Second: Quality control of POLST forms that go into a registry is key. (Crap in equals crap out and the end users (EMS/ED docs) will start to lose trust in the value of POLST.) Third: The registry is crucial to be the single source of truth in any state with a POLST program; otherwise, form version control can lead to outdated medical orders being acted on. Fourth: POLST registry integration into the EHR/HIE/ePCR is helpful for quick access to medical orders. Finally: State backing in the form of legislation (mandating POLST form submission to the registry) and/or funding can really boost the success of a POLST registry.

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