During a natural disaster or extreme weather event, the public relies on hospitals, not only for the day-to-day business of keeping people healthy, but to act as first responders on the front lines of a disaster. During Hurricane Sandy, many New York City hospitals weren’t able to fill this crucial role. Mechanical systems failed because of flooding or storm related issues, and when it was time to rely on the backup generators, those failed too. Patients had to be moved, and the city was forced to face the disaster with dangerously reduced health care resources.
One thing could have kept those hospitals and health care facilities open when they were needed most: energy resiliency. As experts in increasing resiliency, Blue Pillar is sponsoring an important new initiative with Powered for Patients and The American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE). The Health Care Leadership Initiative on Maintenance of Power will create a dialogue around the role of health care facilities in maintaining power and energy resiliency at all times.
Blue Pillar is working to bring more advanced power systems and robust backup power capabilities to hospitals and health care facilities with best-practice energy technologies, such as onsite power generation and storage in the form of microgrids and cogeneration. These technologies can include on-site renewable energy, thermal or battery energy storage, diesel generators, combined heat and power, and more. Microgrids and cogeneration technologies allow a hospital to generate and maintain power during outages, essentially “islanding” from the utility during a grid disruption. The hospital runs on its own power until the outage is over.
But as many as 10 percent of backup generators fail during an outage event. Automatic remote monitoring of these systems improves maintenance and prevents backup equipment failure. Compliance testing can be done from anywhere, at anytime, and results in overall better system upkeep. Remote monitoring also allows facilities to anticipate problems before they occur and to address them before they become worse. And because these systems can separate from the utility grid, when a backup generator or another asset does encounter a problem, it can be shut down remotely and power can be rerouted from another source.
This exciting initiative will introduce best practice technologies to more health care facilities and hospitals. It will increase resiliency throughout the health care industry and give hospitals the tools they need to be prepared for the worst case scenarios.Join us at next week's ASHE PDC Summit in San Diego learn more about Powered for Patients and the Health Care Leadership Initiative on Maintenance of Power.