Acupuncture and related techniques have increasingly been offered in conventional medical settings in Western societies. In Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, Brazil, acupuncture has been integrated into the care pathways since October 2005. Since then, medical acupuncture has been offered for both inpatients and outpatients. Acupuncture has become an integrated therapeutic modality both for outpatients in the clinic setting and for inpatients in the wards. It has been observed that acupuncture performed in a hospital differs in specific characteristics when compared with acupuncture performed in an outpatient setting. The main differences found between inpatients and outpatients treatment are summarised and attitudes and cautionary measures to be taken into account during application of acupuncture in inpatients are suggested. Future plans for the service include offering acupuncture in the emergency ward and surgical centre. The description of this experience could encourage other hospitals to develop an acupuncture service.