How Healthcare Facilities Can Weather Any Storm

Posted by Kimberly Getgen on Jul 6, 2017 9:00:00 AM
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Over the last year, Blue Pillar partnered with nonprofit Powered for Patients to create the Roadmap to Resiliency whitepaper. Our 35-page whitepaper discusses emergency power best practices and ways for healthcare facilities to safeguard emergency power through new technologies and innovative protocols. This blog is a short summary of our whitepaper, which is a valuable resource  for healthcare providers going into the ASHE 2017 Conference. If you are looking to set higher standards for patient care through improved resiliency and energy efficiency, learn more by download the full Whitepaper here

Harnessing Lessons Learned

In recent years, major storms and natural disasters have uncovered weaknesses in emergency power supply systems for critical health care facilities. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, 21 out of 28 hospitals in New Orleans were either closed, evacuated or not fully operational. Government agencies have studied the storms’ effects on critical infrastructure and the resulting reports highlighted lessons learned on how to prevent power loss, maintain operations and ensure patient safety. Our whitepaper identifies three key lessons learned from natural disasters:

  • Flooding of emergency power system components is a chief culprit in emergency power system failures during hurricanes.
  • Insufficient pre-disaster coordination with generator service and fuel providers can result in delays in service at a time when it is most needed.
  • Failure to inventory critical spare parts for emergency power systems can result in lengthy delays in the restoration of emergency power.

Minimizing Risk to Emergency Power

Hospitals and healthcare providers can minimize risk to emergency power through best practices, information sharing and collaboration, and should consider new technologies and innovative protocols to provide support in all three areas.

One of the most effective approaches to ensuring the reliable operation of emergency power supply systems is to regularly test equipment and strictly adhere to manufacturer recommendations for maintenance. IoT technology, such as Blue Pillar’s Aurora® Energy Network of Things™ platform, can automate generator testing and perform the testing remotely to meet compliance requirements and increase resiliency with maximum efficiency.

Furthermore, advanced warning of a potential backup system failure can accelerate the deployment of government and private sector resources to repair or replace failing generators. Our whitepaper proposes leveraging remote monitoring and reporting technologies like Blue Pillar’s Aurora® platform. The technology can detect mechanical threats and automatically send alerts to facility managers and service teams. This enhanced awareness can expedite needed service \ and make it easy to share important information about an emergency power system.

Hospitals and other healthcare facilities provide lifesaving care that’s crucial during emergencies. When extreme weather hits, power grid failure or other unforeseen circumstances impact energy supplies, a hospital must operate as though nothing has happened to ensure patient safety and continuity of care. This makes energy management a matter of life or death. Secure, resilient and reliable energy sources and systems are the most important elements for keeping these facilities functioning during disasters. Modern IoT technology, like Blue Pillar’s Aurora® Energy Network of Things™ platform, makes that easier than ever.

For more detailed information on making healthcare facilities more resilient, download our Whitepaper, Roadmap to Resiliency.

Topics: Energy Management, Healthcare Facilities, Energy IoT