Add these vital pieces to your electrical framework for safer, more efficient facilities.
- Backups systems like generators and uninterrupted power sources (UPS) ensure proactive power plans
- Innovations in power management technology make UPS smarter and faster
- Staff training and emergency response plans help keep everyone safe
- Regular maintenance and testing keep backup power in good shape
Healthcare facilities depend on reliable, consistent power sources. Without them, patient safety and operational efficiency are at high risk. Even slight power supply interruptions could harm patients or staff, making seamless electrical operations essential. This article will provide practical solutions that can help establish more robust uninterrupted power for healthcare sites so they can work safely, efficiently, and confidently.
The critical need for reliable power in healthcare
Even the briefest loss of electrical power is far worse than a mere inconvenience for care providers. The slightest power disruption could disastrously impact on patient care and facility operations. Implementing robust backup power systems is crucial, and commercial power generators and UPS are a great combination for multi-layered backup power.
Each comes in various designs, sizes, and power capacities, which allows healthcare sites to tailor backup power to their needs and avoid sudden shutdowns of sensitive equipment during power failures. Choosing the right models for a facility requires a comprehensive understanding of several key factors: how much power the site needs to operate critical loads, energy demands during peak times, and how much failover tolerance a facility can handle.
Innovations in power management technology
UPS designs are rapidly improving. Some innovations that could make power management more flexible and efficient include:
- Smaller, more affordable UPS with greater ampacity and faster response times, allowing healthcare facilities to better afford backup power
- Additional built-in redundancy modules enable more robust UPS performance
- Remote monitoring of UPS function through external centers, so potential issues can be noted and addressed before they become actual problems at healthcare locations
- Replacement of UPS acid batteries by flywheels, which generate and store energy more efficiently and sustainably
Generator designs are also improving. New models have remote monitoring, which allows for predictive maintenance. Another key advancement is tighter emission control, creating healthier generator function.
Today’s diesel generators also incorporate automation and AI. This allows units to analyze load patterns, creating algorithms which make start and shut down more efficiently. Generator operation is also increasingly hybridized though combination with renewable energy like solar and wind, which helps make generators less grid-dependent while enabling renewable energy.
Regular maintenance and testing of power systems
Scheduled maintenance is a must; no care facility can wait for something to go wrong before calling a contractor. Many modern backup power sources contain built-in testing software, which can make periodic performance checks quick and easy. For UPS, impedance and conductance testing should be performed several times throughout the year to check battery health. Internal filters and fans should be regularly dusted and replaced.
Test generators regularly, with and without loads. Fuel quality checks may be necessary to ensure diesel hasn’t sat too long, which renders it unsafe to use and could damage the engine. Coolant levels should be regularly checked, as should fans, drive belts, and air filters.
Maintenance and testing schedules should combine manufacturer guidelines and state-specific requirements. Don’t miss important deadlines, or you could face stiff fines or possible site closures. Some electrical tests are time-consuming; make sure your facility talks to the contractor about how this will impact care provision and patient/staff safety.
Our previous blog provides more detail about how to best prepare for any electrical work, including the optimal times to schedule it, keeping work areas clear, and how care zone categories can influence how the work is done.
Training and emergency preparedness
Medical staff should be familiar with backup power sources operations. They don’t have to be experts in UPS or generators, but they should know the safety basics when accessing potentially dangerous equipment. This includes proper fuel handling, storage, and positioning fire extinguishers.
Staff should look for frayed wiring or cables on electrical equipment, cracked plug casings, or overloaded power strips. Any spilled liquids should be cleaned up immediately before they make contact with power sources or energized equipment.
Such best practices should be complemented by establishing emergency response protocols for power failures. Generators and UPS units should make failover to continuing power a seamless transition. Staff should know who to call in the event of failures that could lead to extended downtime, or even a fire.
Call 911 if there’s any sign of extensive smoke or fire that can’t be contained by onsite countermeasures like overhead sprinklers and Class C extinguishers. Staff should have ready access to the site’s electrical contractor, who can answer emergency calls and address and correct electrical issues quickly.
Let UES keep you connected
Uninterrupted power is more achievable when healthcare sites combine multiple backups with well-trained staff and regular emergency drills. Proactive power plans often require adopting new or improved technology, making it vital to work with contractors who understand how new equipment can be safely and compliantly fitted into your existing framework.
UES has decades of experience in helping medical sites meet their power needs, and we always prioritize patient safety and operational continuity. Call us at 954-792-5444 or complete our contact form. We’ll answer all your questions and provide a free quote!