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What Can Happen When Power Goes Out in a Hospital?

In the healthcare industry of today, having proper power is vital. Many people rely on machines to stay alive and healthy. Thus, when the power goes out, even for a second, it can have serious impacts on a healthcare setting, especially a hospital in which all kinds of needs are being attended to.
Because hospital power outages are so very serious, it's important to understand their effects, as well as what you can do to help minimize the chances of a hospital power outage.

Unhappy Patients

To begin with, a hospital power outage can lead to some seriously unhappy and disgruntled patients.
While hospitals will typically have backup generators and other sources of backup power in place, relying on backups can mean slower, less responsive machines. In some cases, hospitals may not be able to utilize all of the medical equipment that they usually would.
When this occurs, patients become disgruntled and dissatisfied, which can lead to some seriously bad press for a hospital. Making matters even worse, patients may even be able to sue if they were not provided the proper care or if the lack of power led to a worsening of their injury or other health concern.
Keeping patients happy is a priority for hospitals but that's hard to do when there's a power outage.

Inadequate Lighting

Another concern with power failure is that improper and inadequate lighting can happen as a result.
Often, backup power sources are less powerful than the main power source. Because of this fact, hospitals will typically use most of the power for important, life-dependent machines and medical technology.
Lights often have to take a backseat, so lighting may be dim or inadequate. This can cause problems for surgeons who need to see properly in order to do their jobs correctly. It can also lead to slips, falls and other accidents, all of which can prove a major liability for a hospital.

Decreased Productivity and Efficiency

When a power outage occurs, healthcare workers cannot focus on the task at hand as thoroughly or as fully as they should.
Instead, they have to make sure all backup systems are working and that all patients, especially those reliant on powered devices, are safe and that their necessary equipment is working.
While it's good that workers do these things, the diverted focus reduces both productivity and efficiency, which can lead to a lowered standard of care. For this reason, having backup systems in place that are highly effective and do not require a lot of outside intervention is key.

Potential Insurance Issues

All hospitals will have some type of insurance that protects them in the event of an accident or other issues.
However, your insurance may not cover you in the event of a power failure or if backup electrical devices do not meet certain requirements.
To avoid major liability, it is important for all hospital directors to know the bounds of their insurance policies, to ensure they are following all protocol correctly and to keep their insurance up to date and as effective as possible in any situation.

Data Loss

One final concern to be aware of in the event of power loss is the loss of important and often sensitive data.
Most healthcare records are maintained online or in cloud storage these days. If data is not properly backed up, even a momentary power lapse can cause data to be lost or corrupted.
Thus, having a backup storage system for all data is just as important as having backup power.
Obviously, power loss, no matter how brief, can pose a major problem for hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Proper electrical installation, maintenance of the electric system, and having multiple, reliable backup power sources in place are all key to preventing these issues. For help making sure your facility is properly protected, contact electricians at Circle Electric Inc.