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Generators save lives.

Updated on February 25, 2014

Back up generators are complex devices, often times misunderstood, and most definitely under-valued when it comes to the importance of their own existence. Generators are expensive to purchase and often times, miscalculated in the mathematics of where and how long to supply the facility with such emergent power back up supply.

When to use natural gases, battery systems or (UPS) type devices, these are very common mis-guided by lay persons not knowing of the differences, the advantages and disadvantages of them to where the patient is NOT compromised. How to switch from city power to emergent power on demand, this is another area that lay folks often take for granted in their understanding. But if you have a health care business and need an emergent power supply to engage should it become necessary God forbid, you are liable and should know that you have the patients best needs covered and that your care can be delivered with or without the city power as your only means of care delivery.

The important things to keep in mind when choosing a generator for your business:

  1. What areas in your facility do you need to supply the emergent power
  2. How long could you need to supply the ernergent power
  3. Who would be responsible for ensuring the daily checks on the device
  4. How would your staff ensure that it receives daily checks
  5. Who would do the routine preventative maintenance on the machine
  6. Who would transfer over the switch from city power to the emergency power back up system
  7. Does your current equipment have auxiliary battery systems already built into the actual device that uses power to operate
  8. The form checklist that you would use to ensure its readiness state and efficacy
  9. Do you need to supply the power as a regulatory demand, proving your compliant to the life safety codes and regulations for national medicare and state fire marshall clearances
  10. Where would you install this device that deters the possibility of graffiti and other degrading pranks of the bored teenager or criminal minds of mentally unstable

a log that proves compliancy to federal fire safety regulations
a log that proves compliancy to federal fire safety regulations | Source

More about the items 1 - 10 above...

  1. Knowing which areas within your facility that needs to have emergency power supplied to them in the event of power loss is critical to saving lives of patients. There is usually a critical care branch and an administrative branch within organizations. A critical care branch would be the branch by which emergency power would need to be supplied to in the event of failure with city supplied power sources. The administrative usually always refers to the areas that have desk lighting, xerox machines, fax machines, etc. These are not critical to saving lives and does not need emergency power supplied if you have a generator that is not large enough to supply to all areas, then dividing out the sections into branches would make sense for the organization.
  2. To know how long you would need to supply the power to your facility should your city power be interrupted has to do with the length of the services/treatments you supply to your patients. An example would be let's say dialysis. If you have a dialysis center, the amount of time would be the total number of capacity of patients and their length of duration in treatment on average. If you have six chairs and dialysis machines and the average time the unit runs is 120 minutes start to finish, then the power supply would need to equate to 120 x 6 equals 720 minutes of power or 12 hours of continuous coverage.
  3. Assigning the appropriate staff to do daily checks on the generator and equipment used on your patients is another critical factor at saving lives. Ensure before patient care is begun that all the equipment and supplies are in tact, fully operational and fully charged without errors in their system status displays.
  4. Same as #3.
  5. Finding a vendor that has experience with a health care facility generator is the best that you should want to do in order to save your investment and make it affordable to the members of society that do not have a provider for insurance claims.
  6. Who would make the physical transfer of the switch should it be needed. Try going with a unit that does not need human intervention to turn off the switch from city to emergent power supply, this keeps the process fully automated and much safer against human error. This is called automatic transfer switch for the units.
  7. Know which equipment has built in power back up already installed and which ones do not. Those that do will obviously have this back up of power supplied to it prior to an expensive upgrade for the unit in specs and classifications.
  8. The form above can be used to capture the data required for your generator, this form the survey professionals love it, hopefully you will find it worth your time and efforts in implentation.
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© 2014 The Compliance Doctor


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