UPS Applications in Healthcare, Which strategy is right for you?
It used to be that in many Hospitals and Medical Complex’s that the only place that UPS’s were used was in the IT department and occasionally in the Operating Rooms. In the event of a power failure all of the other test and monitoring equipment was allowed to ‘crash’ and wait for the emergency generators to start before rebooting and coming back on line (8-10 seconds for generators – plus self-test and start time for the equipment). When test equipment failed, it was written off and replaced. There is still a belief in some quarters that UPS are not required for Test Equipment protection.
Today’s healthcare is becoming more and more reliant on advances diagnostics such as MRI’s and PET/CT’s as well all the diagnostic equipment inside Cath. Labs and Angio. suites; these advanced diagnostics require clean energy to keep them running. What happens when your power goes out and you have a doctor using one of these machines? When a power failure occurs, the test equipment just doesn’t come back on ‘ready to go’ anymore. It can take from 5-10 minutes for most test equipment to reboot, self-test and be ready use again. What happens if this diagnostic is invasive? A ‘bad’ power failure can also cause equipment damage. No Doctor or patient wants to be caught in that type of situation.
For all the reasons above and more, diagnostic equipment manufacturers offer UPS as an option for their equipment and it gets bundled as part of the order. This can lead to scenarios where the Lab Director(s) have purchased UPS systems for each piece of test equipment that may or may not be appropriate to the application, has not thought to purchase ongoing maintenance for the UPS, and did not let the facilities department know that they had done so. So now in many laboratories there can be several different UPS, from different manufacturers of which the Hospital Facilities Manager is not aware, and the UPS are not getting any maintenance.
It can also lead to a huge inefficient use of electrical power, from the inefficiency of the individual UPS and from the extra work the HVAC systems have to do to get rid of the extra heat being generated.
There are also critical ancillary equipment to be considered such as network closets, nurse’s stations, and patient monitoring, these often have their own separate UPS that have the same issues described above.
Individual UPS’s work well in small situations where you may only have 1 or 2 pieces of equipment but for larger facilities the management costs make it a nightmare. Another solution is to have 1 Large UPS System for the whole Lab or Department instead of either none or multiple small UPS systems. This solution has the benefits of saving space, cheaper initial purchase price when compared to multiple UPS, more efficient usage of electrical power, easier to manage, and often, better protection.
Jantech Services has been providing UPS solutions for Healthcare applications for more than 20 years, as well as providing maintenance services. Contact us to see how we may help you.