Acupuncture is deemed a safe therapy for integration into a major New York City hospital according to research presented by medical doctors at the International Research Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health in Portland, Oregon. The goal of the research was to establish inpatient policies, procedures and standards for acupuncture care at Beth Israel Medical Center, New York City. This includes credentialing, supervision and safety standards for acupuncture therapy.
Track Record Established
The first outpatient integrative medicine clinic was established at Beth Israel Hospital in 2000. A teaching hospital, the doctors created a post-graduate fellowship training program for licensed acupuncturists. The fellows worked two four hour shifts per week for a period of one year. This established an acupuncture outpatient safety record for the hospital.
Recent Safety Record
The acupuncture fellows worked over 5,000 hours since September 2008. They worked in a variety of departments including surgery, family medicine, internal medicine, oncology, pulmonary rehabilitation and pediatrics. They administered acupuncture therapies including body-style acupuncture needling, auricular acupuncture, ear seeds, palpation, Tui na massage and Gua sha therapy. The safety record was perfect with only one exception. A patient fainted because he had taken his wife’s beta-blocker medication.
Inpatient Care in NYC
The doctors concluded, “It is feasible to develop a training model for graduate licensed acupuncturists as a safe and effective strategy for offering acupuncture in the inpatient setting.” They added, “A safe record of care and integration of inpatient acupuncture therapy has been established at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City.”
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Nielsen et al.: OA05.04. Inpatient acupuncture care: establishing hospital-wide policy and service at Beth Israel Medical Center (NYC). BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012 12(Suppl 1):O20. Beth Israel Medical Center, Integrative Medicine Department, New York City, USA. From: International Research Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health 2012 Portland, Oregon, USA. 15-18 May 2012.