Hospitals look past codes to set power reliability minimums

Recent natural disasters spark proactive infrastructure upgrades

By Healthcare Facilities Today
September 13, 2013

Hospitals are beginning to look past codes to set power reliability minimums. The devastation of extended blackouts and storms in the last decade has led some of this country's largest acute care institutions to re-think their emergency power plans, asking "What is needed to maintain power beyond the existing code-mandated minimum requirements?"

Currently, NFPA 70 (National Electrical Code), Article 517 — Health Care Facilities, and NFPA 99 (Health Care Facilities Code) address minimum emergency power requirements aimed at providing public safety and patient safety during a normal power outage. The code generally covers egress lighting; the fire alarm, medical gas alarm, and public address systems; floor power for critical areas; critical ventilation; critical mechanical and medical equipment; and the like.

But, in the face of an extended crisis, today's code minimums can leave a hospital in the dark and without the tools to properly diagnose and treat new and existing patients, according to an article on FacilitiesNet.com. Critical imaging suites for MRI and CAT scans, areas conducting non-invasive procedures, ventilation of non-critical areas, and comfort cooling, for example, are all crucial to a hospital's daily operations and its revenue generation, but beyond current code requirements for emergency power.

In response to extended large-scale blackouts in New York City in the last decade, several New York City health care institutions have implemented major emergency power infrastructure upgrades. These institutions took such steps as expanding existing power plants and providing new emergency power plants, providing new campus emergency distribution systems, installing supplemental critical and equipment risers, and providing emergency power to chiller plants, HVAC equipment, imaging suites, etc. Because some of these institutions were so proactive, they were able to maintain close to normal operation during and in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, including handling patient overflow from other hospitals that had to shut down.

Read the article.

 

 

 




See the latest posts on our homepage Share

Topic Area: Energy and Power


Recent Posts
Recent Posts

How to Prevent Mold Growth in Facilities


Mold can often grow out of sight and unnoticed.

9/23/2022

Cybersecurity Evolve as Attacks on Healthcare Sector Grow


Cyber attacks on healthcare organizations have increased 94 percent year-over-year.

9/23/2022

FGI Resource Targets Facilities Readiness for Emergencies


White paper helps facilities managers determine best practices and establish a new minimum standard on emergency preparedness and response.

9/23/2022

How COVID-19 Re-Focused Facilities on Compliance


The pandemic was the ultimate litmus test for and real-world example of hospital compliance standards.

9/22/2022

Ceiling Change Nearly Doubles Pressure Differential in Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital's Patient Room


The target was to maintain the minimum 0.020” w.c. under all conditions.

9/22/2022






FREE
NEWSLETTER

News & Updates • Webcast Alerts • Building Technologies

All fields are required.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.



You Might Like