Ask HRC: Handling Patients Who Refuse to Comply with No-Smoking Policies

April 15, 2008 | Healthcare Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance


A Healthcare Risk Control (HRC) member facility that recently eliminated smoking on its campus asked about managing ambulatory patients leaving the hospital to smoke off-campus on public sidewalks. Specifically, the member asked about steps to take when a patient is noncompliant and refuses to follow the hospital policy. For example, the member asked, should the facility discharge the patient against medical advice or follow an elopement policy?

In a previous Ask HRC column, we listed several sample policies, including one...

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