Service Animals PREMSS adheres to Provena Covenant Medical Center Policy regarding patients, family members and others with service animals.
Federal Law: ADA/Section 504 • American Disabilities Act (ADA) Under this federal law, all businesses and organizations that serve the public must allow people with disabilities the ability to bring service animals into all areas customers are normally allowed to go. This includes HOSPITALS and Prehospital transport services.
What is a Service Animal? • Any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to do work and perform a service for a person with a disability. • A Service Animal is not a pet. These are animals that are specifically trained to work for and perform living skill tasks for an individual with disabilities.
How are Service Animals Identified? • Service Animals are not required to wear anything that would identify them as such (i.e. harness, tags, etc.). • We may not require proof, certification or other such evidence of service animal status before permitting the service animal to accompany the person with a disability.
Are Service Animals allowed Everywhere? The only circumstances under which a person may not be entitled to be accompanied by their service animal or those situations where the animal poses a direct threat(significant) to the safety of others.
Are Service Animals allowed Everywhere in the Hospital? There are a few areas with increased infection control risks, in which service animals may not be allowed. These include: • Areas that require donning protective garments including gloves, gowns, and masks (Isolation Rooms) • These areas would include, OR, CCU, NICU, Newborn Nursery, Radiology Rooms, Medication and formula preparation rooms, food/distribution and areas where equipment is reprocessed and sterilized.
Access Areas Animals may access all public areas of the facility provided that the service animal is on a leash or other wise restrained. • Visitors with service animals: The information desk, ED, or Central Registration will alert the area to be visited of the visit and Security will be notified. Staff need to obtain permission from the patient and roommate for the animal visit. If the roommate objects, alternate visit arrangements will be made.
Access Areas • Patients admitted with a service animal will be asked by the admitting staff what arrangements the patient desires for his/her service animal. If the service animal does not accompany the patient, visits may be arranged. In Outpatient areas, the area will be notified by the information/registration desk.
Care of the Patient with a Service Animal • Patients and visitors will be advised the the care and supervision of the service animal is their responsibility. Staff are not required to provide care, food or a special location for the animal. The patient must be able to care for the animal or designate a family member or other caretaker.
Care of the Patient with a Service Animal • Staff should advise the owner, or animal caretaker where the animal can be taken to toilet and to exercise on the facility grounds. Service animals must be accompanied by the owner or caretaker at all times. • After touching any animal, staff, patients, and visitors should perform hand hygiene.
Access Denial Every effort should be made to facilitate the inclusion of the service animal within the medical center, however, the hospital may exclude or terminate the visit if the animal acts in a vicious, aggressive or threatening manner towards staff, patients, or visitors.
Access Denial In the event the animal is denied access, due to significant risk to the health and safety of others, every effort should be made to help facilitate the transfer of the animal to a designated caretaker prior to the separation. The Service Animal Coordinator (Infection Control Nurse) or the House Supervisor must be notified in these situations.
Access Denial Staff must complete and sign the Denial of Access to Service Animal report form (click on the link above to access this form). This form is reviewed with the owner and a signature obtained. A copy of the form is provided to the owner.
Prehospital Care Ambulance and EMT/emergency personnel must comply with the ADA provisions and allow a service animal to accompany the disabled person during transport to the medical center.
Planned Transport The planned transport of a disabled person must allow the service animal to accompany the patient.
Unplanned Non-Emergent Transport An unplanned transport of a disabled person for a non-emergent situation requires that the service animal accompany the patient.
Unplanned Emergency Transport In an unplanned or emergency transport due to severe health risk an individualized determination of service animal transport must be made. Factors to consider include whether the animal may cause a direct threat to the health and safety of a patient due to lack of time, and lack of space within the ambulance to provide urgent treatment.
Unplanned Transport (Emergency) In the event that the animal is not transported, the EMT service should transport the animal or ask accompanying police to take the animal to the hospital. The Denial of Access to Service Animal form must be complete for any instance in which the service animal is not transported to the hospital with the patient or within another vehicle at the scene.
Questions/Information Questions or disputes on service animal or pet access or denial can be addressed with the hospital ADA Coordinator or the House Supervisor after-hours. Posters will be posted in designated areas describing the steps for animal access (Admitting, ED etc.)
Service animals are important aides to a person with a disability. At PCMC and PREMSS it is our responsibly to allow access to the service animal and maintain the bond between the animal and it’s owner.