Reader Poll: Animals in Healthcare Facilities

May 14, 2015

Allowing animals in healthcare facilities (HCFs) is not without risks to patients, visitors, and staff. Medicine is finding ways to exploit the therapeutic benefit of the human-animal bond, but this must be done with care to avoid infections and other risks. The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) recently released new recommendations on access to animals in the hospital.

To come up with these recommendations, SHEA surveyed its members to find out how many HCFs had formal policies about the presence of animals in acute care or ambulatory care settings. The survey found substantial variation in practice across US hospitals. A working group collated policies to develop the current informational recommendations. These are practical, expert, opinion-based suggested actions to consider in the absence of recognized standards, regulations, or robust evidence to support practice. The newly developed recommendations offer guidance to professionals in various scenarios.

We would like to learn what is happening in your facility or practice; how does your facility handle the presence of pets and other animals?


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