WV POST

Most current version dated 2021. Older versions are still valid and can be utilized.

The West Virginia POST program and form is part of the National POLST.  Information on this page is provided by the National POLST with edits for emphasis on West Virginia.

*POST is called different things in different states!  For a full listing, please visit the National POLST Program Names page.

The WV POST program is:

  • A process -- part of your advance care plan to document your wishes for medical care
  • A conversation with your health care provider (MD, DO, APRN, PA) about your wishes and your medical condition
  • A portable medical order form which converts your wishes for medical care into immediately actionable medical orders so health care providers know your wishes if you cannot speak for yourself

What is a POST form?

The POST form is a medical order form that helps health care providers know and honor the treatment wishes of patients who are considered to be at risk for a life-threatening event, such as a serious illness or advanced fraility.

The POST form is completed after discussion with the patient or incapacitated patient’s medical power of attorney representative or surrogate decision-maker regarding treatment preferences.

What does a POST form tell my health care provider?

Your wishes for medical care including:

  • "Take me to the hospital" or "I want to stay here"
  • "Yes, attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)" or "No, don't attempt CPR"
  • "These are the medical treatments I want and the treatments I do not want"
  • "This is the medical care plan I want followed"

Who can honor a POST form as a health care provider?

The POST form can be honored by all health care providers including the emergency/rescue squad (EMS) and the emergency department.  Requests to not be resuscitated (DNR status) can only be honored by EMS in medical orders (not advance directives).

How is a POST form different from an advance directive or Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order?

A POST form provides specific treatment directions and is completed with a health care provider. The POST form is more specific than advance directives and has more options than a DNR card.

During emergencies, EMS and emergency department providers can only follow medical orders such as a POST form. If someone does not have a medical order, EMS providers will attempt everything possible to keep you alive, including CPR.

Who should get a POST form?

Anyone who has a serious life-limiting medical condition which may include advanced frailty. WV POST is for the seriously ill or very frail.

Why should I complete a POST form?

The WV POST form provides more information and choices than advance directives and a DNR order alone. The WV POST form can be honored by EMS providers in the event of an emergency. Without a medical order, EMS providers cannot honor wishes not to be resuscitated if your heart stops beating.

When should a POST form be completed?

The WV POST form should be completed after a conversation with your health care provider and only if you are seriously ill or very frail.

Where do I keep my POST form?

When you go to the doctor or hospital, take the POST form with you. If you live at home, you should keep the POST form on your refrigerator. If you live in a nursing home or personal care home, your form will be kept in the front of your medical chart. If you are a patient in the hospital, your form will be kept in your medical chart during your stay. Make sure you take your POST form home with you when you are discharged from the hospital or nursing home.

Send your POST form to the WV e-Directive Registry so that your wishes will be known and available in emergencies.

Because the POST form is a medical order and must be completed with a health care provider (MD, DO, APRN, or PA), patients can request these form from their health care providers. POST forms cannot be mailed to patients for completion. Your health care provider must complete the order with you -- you should never be provided a blank POST form to complete alone.

Download the WV POST brochure for Patients