As a hospital owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure continuous care to patients at all times, even during power outages. Power outages come announced. And while you may move around with an emergency flashlight, you need energy to power ventilators and incubators.
A few minutes of oxygen loss is all that’s needed to cripple a baby in an incubator or a patient in a coma. This can be prevented by investing in adequate alternate power like industrial power inverters.
And it’s not enough to just invest in pure sine wave inverters. You need to make sure they are well maintained to power your hospital in an emergency.
Most inverter manufacturers have maintenance programs that are worth buying. This way, they take care of the hassle of sending technicians to maintain your inverters while you take care of more important issues like running your hospital.
Other measures worth adopting
You can adopt these other measures to prevent unnecessary complications and crippled patient care during a power outage.
- You don’t have the time to send someone to get batteries or torches when the lights go out. You instead have to be prepared by stocking enough manual or battery-operated devices in your departments’ supply closets which you can easily access in emergencies.
- Keep at least a valve mask ready for each patient on a ventilator. You can at least then squeeze the bag to manually provide oxygen to your patients when the power goes out and ventilators fail.
- Buy at least one portable battery-operated suction device for each incubated patient in the hospital. In the case of devices relying on backup battery, there’s no worry of the batter draining.
They automatically revert to battery power to power your devices for hours. However, alkaline batteries function only when fresh, usually for about 9 hours. You can, however, always swap the drained batteries with fresh ones when required.
- Keep an adequate supply of both alkaline and rechargeable batteries you can depend on for powering your devices ready at all times.
- Keep enough flashlights around, including lantern-type lights you can use to at least light up the corridors and your patient rooms. Don’t forget to stock up on their batteries too.
- Include testing these backup devices in your routine check-up schedule. It includes testing all battery-operated devices like medication dispensers and infusion pumps while you test defibrillators and the crash cart every day. Don’t forget to ensure the devices especially work when unplugged, and not only when plugged.
- It’s worth spending the time and money conducting regular mock codes so that your staff members can work well even in the stressful situation of a power outage. It keeps them prepared and ready to look after your patients, even in emergencies.
It’s also worth conducting routine drills to you’re your staff prepared during not only power outages, but also during any disaster like natural calamities or fires.
- Plan, and write out a drill listing out what your staff has to do if there’s no electricity. Teach your staff how to test, maintain and use all the battery-operated patient care devices in the hospital.
This way there’s everyone will know how to use the devices when there’s a power outage. You never know who will be around the patient at that crucial moment, so it’s better to train everyone in handling the devices.
In short, don’t wait till the last minute. You need to prepare well in advance for a power emergency. As long as you are ready with the right modular inverters, battery-operated devices, and proper training for your staff, you are assured there will be minimal confusion and crippling of patient care during the next crisis.