Jason deBruyn of Triangle Business Journal reports on a fascinating idea that’s catching on in hospitals.

Hospitals are cautiously beginning to allowfamily members to bring pets from home to see patients.

At WakeMed Health & Hospitals, for example, long term patients who are healthy enough may visit a pet as long as the pet is cleared by hospital staff; the visit is only allowed in certain areas.

My dogs are my family, and I for one would definitely factor in access to visits with my dogs when choosing a hospital. Pets are powerful healers and consolers. I wonder if this could become an area for some hospitals to step out and snag a competitive advantage.