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What is IPOST?IPOST logo

  • The Iowa Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment, known as IPOST, is a double-sided, one-page document, salmon in color. 
  • It allows a person to communicate their preferences for key life-sustaining treatments.
  • The IPOST form allows for treatment communications when or if an individual is unable to express their preferences in an emergent situation.

IPOST Key Points

  • IPOST form belongs to the patient
  • IPOST form is valid as a medical order statewide regardless of where the patient resides
  • IPOST is appropriate for any individual who is frail and elderly or who has a chronic, critical medical condition, regardless of age

How is the IPOST Used?

  • In a medical situation, IPOST directs emergency staff, such as First Responders, EMTs, Paramedics, and Physicians to the type of care you do or do not want.
  • IPOST orders show what treatments you want now, in your current state of health.

What Does The IPOST Ask?

  • Your preference for CPR
  • Medical conditions
  • The use of antibiotics
  • Artificially administered fluids and nutrition (tube feeding)

Who Completes the IPOST?

  • You and your health care provider will talk about choices you have. Together, you will complete your IPOST form. A physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant must sign the IPOST form.
  • You may discuss your wishes with a social worker, nurse or trained facilitator who will help you complete the form and then have it signed later by your health care provider.
  • If you are unable to speak for yourself, your health care agent or representative can speak on your behalf.

What If I Change My Mind?

  • The IPOST can be changed or voided at any time.
  • Talk with your health care provider at any time if you want to make changes to your IPOST.
  • This is a process that can be reviewed and changed at any time.

Where Do I Keep My IPOST Form?

  • The IPOST form goes where you go - at home, the hospital, or long-term care facility.
  • At home - keep on refrigerator. EMS personnel are trained to look for it there.
  • At health care facilities it’s kept on the medical chart. The IPOST form will travel with you.
  • You will be given a clear plastic sleeve and a sticker to keep your IPOST at home.

Is an IPOST Required?

  • No. Completing the IPOST is always voluntary.

For More Information

More information on IPOST can be obtained online at


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