Uninterruptible power supplies can be critical to the sustainability of life in the healthcare industry. Medical facilities rely on IT and medical equipment for patient care, and equipment relies on the availability of electrical power systems. This dependence is driven by two power vulnerabilities. The first relates to the use of sensitive electronic equipment for operations, and for patient monitoring and treatment. The second arises from the essential role of IT and communications equipment to manage patient records, schedule appointments, allocate resources and perform other administrative functions.
Hospitals, healthcare providers and healthcare businesses must also meet strict regulatory requirements related to keeping the power infrastructure compliant, which creates its own set of unique challenges including allocation of capital budget and the need for continuous training and testing. With all this to consider, in this blog – we break down the importance of power supply for hospitals, what needs to be taken into account, and how best to mitigate power loss, power outages and other such issues.
Legislation exists that directly affects hospital power supply, and what healthcare facilities must comply with. For example, IEC 60364-7-710 applies to electrical installations in medical locations, to ensure the safety of patients and medical staff. Its requirements mainly cover hospitals, private clinics, medical and dental practices, health care centres and dedicated medical rooms in the workplace.
Health Technical Memorandum HTM06-01 (Part A) provides guidance for all works on the fixed wiring and integral electrical equipment used for electrical services within healthcare premises. It should be applied to all forms of electrical design work from greenfield sites to modifying an existing final subcircuit. Part B addresses the operational management and maintenance of the electrical service supply and distribution within any healthcare facility.
The memorandum sets out grades of patient risk with regard to loss of supply, with guidance given on how to mitigate risk for all of them. The grades range from grade E to grade A. Whereas grade E relates to support services and circulation spaces such as waiting areas and non-patient care areas – where loss of power supply does not have an immediate effect on the clinical treatment or safety of patients, grade A is indeed key to this. Grade A relates to life support or complex surgery. Operating rooms, critical care areas and MRIs that lose power could have life threatening consequences, and therefore an alternative power source must be available as backup. This must be available within 0.5 s or as a nobreak supply if critical ME equipment to be used will not continue to function without a reset after a 0.5 break.
Finding and mitigating power vulnerabilities is also key at any hospital – in relation to assessing emergency power systems installations, and their operations, training, communications, inspections, testing, maintenance, electrical safety and contingency planning. Options for reviewing and improving the dependability of existing installations can include conducting risk assessments, identifying existing or potential hazards and undertaking hazard mitigation strategies.
A good inspection can include identification of power vulnerabilities, and can entail:
Visiting the facility’s high-value electrical equipment rooms, such as those containing emergency power equipment or main normal power electrical service equipment, and determining whether any of those rooms are adjacent to mechanical rooms and whether it is possible for water to enter the electrical rooms if any of the mechanical pipes or tanks leak or break.
Determining whether electrical rooms on lower floors are subject to external flooding in certain situations.
Conducting hospital power system risk assessments that can focus on:
Locations of emergency power equipment.
Assessing potential vulnerabilities that have been discovered.
Determining the need for more robust utility failure procedures.
Analysing vulnerabilities. Emergency power systems vulnerability analyses are a best practice and can be used in many ways. For example, vulnerability analyses can be used to determine what types of loads (and load requirements) that are presently powered only by normal power should be powered from emergency power.
You may determine that your critical equipment is due a service, in need of maintenance, or could do with being replaced. As dependable and uninterruptible power supplies are a must – with a 99.999% operational efficiency – the UPS power supply and hospital generators you choose must be up to the high standards required for the healthcare industry.
At Dale, we can install, manage, and maintain a range of healthcare power supply systems that are industry-compliant, and can provide you with peace of mind knowing your hospital is being powered for the highest performance – in terms of lighting, heating, data security, and infrastructure purposes.
Looking for an adaptable uninterruptible power supply system? With configurable modular redundancy, our Dale E Series UPS range provides a scalable solution that can be customised to meet your needs. With hot swappable modules that enable the UPS to continue supporting your power load even during maintenance and repairs – as well as a redundancy level that can be configured to meet your protected load – the Dale E series is an excellent choice.
We also have a range of standby generators, banks for generators, and associated load bank testing available. A wide form of batteries, as well as spare parts – such as engine exhaust systems and sufficient fuel sources – are also available for effective power generation and emergency power. Helping to reduce power loss scenarios and power outage durations, your healthcare customers will be suitably cared for.
The critical standby power supply required for hospitals must be operating at all times, and serviced and maintained appropriately to ensure a continuous power source. Along with maintenance plans that can include callouts, fault fixes and end of life UPS swap outs, our technical engineers can help supply your hospital with the right UPS system, and back-up generator. Supporting hospitals across the UK – in areas such as Manchester, Scarborough, Cardiff and Glasgow – we know that we can help you too. For more information, please check out our range, and give us a call today on 0330 999 3000.