Why Uninterruptible Power Supply Systems (UPS) are Critical to Protecting Hospital Patients, Devices, and Data

By: Denise Reed | June 25, 2020
doctor checking patient vitals on a monitor

Hospitals have a complex infrastructure that requires a constant power supply to maintain life-saving daily operations. In the event of a power outage, critical systems and equipment may shut down and take up to a minute to connect to an emergency generator. A system shut-down of even a few moments can have devastating consequences and must be avoided at all costs. 

One of the most effective ways hospitals can ensure constant and reliable power supply is by installing a centralized Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) system.

Risks to Hospital Emergency Power Systems

Extreme weather events and regional disasters such as storms, tornadoes, or earthquakes can provoke an unexpected power outage across an entire hospital facility. This loss of power, even momentarily, can have a direct impact on patients, medical staff, and hospital performance.

  • Patients who depend on the proper operation of hospital equipment to sustain essential functions are at direct risk in the event of a power outage. Some machines such as ventilators only have a 90-minute backup battery  and must be connected to power as quickly and seamlessly as possible.
  • Throughout hospital facilities, medical staff must monitor patients and maintain friction-less communication. In the event of a power outage, most of these services are supported by costly and outdated back-up generators rather than a single centralized UPS system.
  • The Life Safety and Critical branches within hospitals are placed in jeopardy during any momentary lapse in electrical power, including the loss of critical patient data, emergency lighting, exit signs, and security systems. Any interruption of these services, no matter how temporary, can affect the performance of an entire hospital facility.

Importance of Uninterruptible Power Supply in Hospitals

In addition to the life-saving necessity of an uninterrupted flow of power to critical equipment such as ventilators and anesthesia machines, a centralized UPS unit can:

  • Improve the reliability and efficiency of an electrical system across an entire hospital facility, enabling it to keep sustaining critical services and data protection for its patients and staff, even in the case of a regional emergency.
  • Simplify building operations by integrating the function of localized battery backups and localized UPS units throughout the hospital. These individual units may also be taking up additional space that could be used for patient care or staff support.
  • Reduce maintenance costs over time by eliminating the upkeep for various individual and outdated units. A central UPS system can reduce costs both in operations and maintenance, justifying the significant upfront investment by also reducing the extent of system downtime.

UPS & Critical Hospital Functions

Hospitals are the core of community response in an emergency. In the event of a power outage, a reliable UPS system can protect patients, staff, and data alike to maintain a hospital’s high efficiency and critical functions running without interruption.

Testing & Maintenance of Battery Backup

Facilities install UPS systems to prevent costly downtime and its effects from damaging their business—but without regular testing and maintenance, the backup system may fail when it’s needed most.  For a UPS to maximize up-time and protect critical equipment power outages, regular testing is needed. Frequent testing helps to identify problems, alert users when corrective action needs to be taken, and minimize devastating power interruptions.

Many of today’s UPS systems can remotely alert technicians of problems. Advanced monitoring technology can provide status for voltage and other factors. However, the battery systems still require a physical inspection.  

Using state-of-the-art equipment, ANS performs battery testing and provides results to our customers to determine the health of their batteries. As engineers we work with customers as consultants, not just as installers or sales people. We’ll bring all possible solutions up for review.  Customers can always count on ANS to always do what’s in their best interest.

Don't get caught with dead batteries! Schedule your backup system test today. 

Posted on June 25, 2020 , updated on June 25, 2020

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