Ask HRC: Patients Who Wish to Continue Herbal Supplements in the Hospital

June 17, 2008 | Health System Risk Management


A Healthcare Risk Control(HRC) System member recently wrote to us seeking policies that address patients who have a history of taking herbal supplements (e.g., ginseng) at home and want to continue to take the supplements while in the hospital.

HRC notes that the hospital’s policy for a patient’s continued use of herbal supplements from home must be part of the medication reconciliation process. The process provides an opportunity for the clinician to review the patient’s medications and determine whether continuing use of the herbal supplement is appropriate during the patient’s hospital stay. Whether to continue use of the supplement while the patient is in the hospital is up to the admitting practitioner. If the supplement will be continued during hospitalization and at discharge or transfer to another provider...

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