Most industries depend on secure power systems for productivity. But for health care facilities, a stable power supply is essential to provide lifesaving services. Without a consistent power source, health care professionals might be unable to use critical equipment or access patient records.
To prevent emergencies, health care facilities need a reliable backup power source. Read on to learn more about the need for backup power supply in health care.
Uninterruptable Power Supply for Medical Equipment
Health care facilities rely on stable power sources to provide patient care. Hospital electrical systems run lifesaving equipment that must stay online at all times. A power outage could make it impossible for health professionals to provide the best care for patients. In severe cases, a hospital power failure could threaten lives.
Hospitals and other health care facilities depend on power systems for components like these.
Medical equipment: Many crucial pieces of medical equipment require a connection to a power source to function. For instance, ventilators allow patients to breathe when they experience respiratory failure. Ventilators need to stay connected to a power source to assist patients. If this equipment goes offline, it could adversely affect patients’ lives and well-being. Other medical instruments used in surgery and critical care settings also need a constant connection to a power supply.
Heating and cooling: Hospitals and health care buildings rely on electrical sources to power their HVAC systems. These systems regulate the temperature of buildings and can ensure a more comfortable experience. If a health care facility grows too hot or too cold, it could negatively impact patients and professionals.
Electronic systems and data: Most hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other outpatient facilities store patient data in electronic interfaces. Patient files contain crucial information about medical history, current and past medications, and other health details. Interruptions in power supplies could cause data glitches or make the information unavailable. If health care professionals cannot access patient records, they might make incorrect decisions for care.
Possible Reasons for Power Failures in Health Care Facilities
Equipment lags or failure: All technology is susceptible to malfunctions, and electrical systems are no exception. Medical facilities continue to rely more on power systems to run medical equipment. Power grids might be unable to handle all of the demands, and their performance can degrade as a result. In other cases, hospitals are older buildings with outdated infrastructures. Aging equipment is more vulnerable to power outages, voltage drops, or brownouts.
Natural disasters: Next, natural disasters can wipe out power grids and make it challenging to regain power. Severe weather, such as floods, avalanches, earthquakes, and other similar events, can completely shut down power. Natural disasters’ severity can make it challenging for rescue crews and electricians to restore power, so facilities could go for days or even weeks without electricity.
Local power outages: Typical power outages affect hospitals just like every other infrastructure in the area. In these cases, hospitals usually rely on backup power sources, like generators.
These and other causes can harm health care facilities’ power systems, putting patients at risk.
Backup Power for Medical Equipment
Health care institutions must use backup power sources to ensure medical equipment and electronic medical records remain online. These solutions can automatically start in the absence of a primary power supply.
Most facilities use these backup power options.
Power generators: Backup power generators are widely used during power outages. They can provide long-term energy for hospitals, allowing electrical equipment to remain on. As soon as you lose connection to a power supply, the generator starts and resupplies electricity.
Uninterruptable power supply: Many hospitals and health care locations use uninterruptable power supplies beside generators. An uninterruptable power supply for medical equipment runs on battery power and acts as a bridge to stabilize power if the primary source gives out. In most cases, health care facilities use uninterrupted power supplies to temporarily manage connectivity before switching to the generator’s power system.
Overall, health care facilities’ backup power requirements allow them to switch over to another power source in the event of lost power.
Other Ways to Prepare for Potential Power Failures
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, health care facilities must have a preparation plan for potential power failures. Besides having backup power sources, FEMA also suggests taking routine actions to build resiliency in your electrical systems.
Here are some of their recommendations.
Analyze your systems: Facility managers should perform preventive system analyses of standby power systems, taking stock of potential hazards that could affect the facility and how the system would respond. For example, they should thoroughly record what areas the backup supply power will affect. Professionals should also evaluate the typical fuel usage for their backup systems and ensure they have enough fuel supply in case they run out. Lastly, professionals should inspect the power unit’s performance periodically and anticipate replacements if the unit shows degradation.
Perform regular generator maintenance: Generator maintenance is crucial for strong performance. The specifics depend on individual units, but all generators require routine servicing and load tests. You should also consistently check fuel levels and take steps to protect fuel supplies. Many regulations require hospitals to test their generator’s ability according to a specific schedule.
Try remote monitoring: Some generators allow for remote monitoring. These devices offer real-time updates on generator performance, even when you’re not on the premises. The remote monitors can alert you of potential malfunctions, giving you more time to prepare and find other power sources.
Test the power system: Lastly, frequent tests of your backup power systems can help you ensure they stay online. You can test their effectiveness and identify lags in the system.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also created an emergency preparedness checklist for health care facilities to follow. Being proactive can help facilities remain connected to power supplies and avoid emergencies.
Contact Thompson Power Supply Today
Health care facilities require a stable source of backup power in case of emergencies. At Thompson Power Supply, we understand the importance of dependable power sources. We provide critical power to Alabama and northwest Florida and have built a reputation for quality, reliability, and strong performance.