No medical downtime

Admittedly, not all buildings are created equal. Different buildings work differently, whether for purpose, efficiency, safety, or security. So how can you be sure your healthcare facility maintains continuity for patient and staff safety, even when unplanned downtime occurs? That’s the answer. Louise Monger, Vice President of Digital Her Buildings at Schneider Electric, says this foresight will go a long way toward faster recovery and lessening the impact of downtime.

What is building resilience?

Louise says the resilience of a health care facility depends on the long-term functioning of the building before, during, immediately after, and after long periods of specific events that disrupt the delivery of care.

“In the event of an unplanned outage, keeping critical services up, patient safety, and property and campus safety will only become possible priorities if we plan ahead.” says Louise. “Simply put, systems need data-driven power distribution and building management systems that actively resist, recover from, and adapt to threats. IoT-enabled infrastructure is the foundation of resilience. and helps ensure 24/7 operational continuity, uninterrupted access to critical data, and robust systems.”

Reasons for improving building resilience

According to a 2016 survey1 According to a study conducted by the Ponemon Institute, healthcare organizations face an average cost of $740,357 per downtime incident. With this information in mind, IoT-based power and building management systems prove their worth when preventing downtime events for the first time.

In parallel, energy monitoring and forecasting in healthcare facilities not only enable efficient day-to-day operations, but also provide insight into how energy is used, how much critical systems need, and when they are needed. Get a detailed understanding. they need it most.

“To optimize resilience, healthcare facility managers need to incorporate sustainability into their resilience plans,” says Louise. “For example, if backup power is likely to be needed, FM should first plan for the most efficient use of power under both normal and extreme conditions, then minimize greenhouse effect. Plans should be made to provide that power by fuels that reduce gas and other emissions.

Similarly, water system monitoring provides important information and supports effective management of critical resources in critical situations. By understanding a building’s water consumption under typical conditions, facility managers can determine how much water will be needed in an emergency. This real-time monitoring can inform important decisions about ongoing medical procedures, or whether outside resources or even evacuation are required.

This level of information across all systems allows critical decisions to be made in an emergency, and may allow facility managers to turn off unnecessary loads or direct resources where they are really needed.

daily resilience

Medicine cannot allow facilities to have power problems disrupting a surgical, ICU, or other care area. According to Louise, an invisible factor in a building’s electrical reliability is power quality issues. “Invisible conditions such as harmonics and voltage fluctuations can cause malfunctions or shorten the life of sensitive equipment,” says Louise. “Unfortunately, these issues can only become apparent after an incident or crisis.”

To visualize these issues, Louise recommends IoT-enabled platforms such as Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure.

“With the EcoStruxure platform, we can connect everything in the enterprise, from the shop floor to the top floor,” says Louise. “By collecting critical data through sensors and assets, EcoStruxure can analyze this information and deliver meaningful insights that can be acted upon, enabling healthcare facilities to achieve the highest levels of resilience.”

Should I use a microgrid?

Maintaining operations and providing critical services during prolonged unplanned outages is a core requirement of any resilience strategy. To truly prepare for and protect against power outages, Louise says you need to consider multiple lines of defense.

“Emergency power systems (EPSS) provide rapid power to all major services on site, including all critical services,” says Louise. “In addition to this, microgrids can bring all energy sources together while monitoring and managing supply and demand. It provides the resilience needed to sustain

To support on-site generators, microgrids provide daily power capacity requirements and help connect, control, and monitor energy resources. Using software to control and optimize microgrids means they can proactively manage energy production, promote renewable energy, and support traditional emergency backup power systems during power outages. The software also helps with the measurements and verifications necessary to maintain building compliance and certification.

Cybersecurity for everything

The IoT revolution will enhance many aspects of healthcare, but it also increases the risk of cyberattacks. To protect sensitive data and critical equipment, the entire infrastructure must be modernized and cybersecured.

“It’s not enough to just have operational technology (OT) that is designed with cybersecurity in mind,” says Louise. “You should be as strong as your weakest link, and the network layer where your devices communicate and your data turns into business value. IT/OT becomes a complex puzzle when it becomes less secure.”

Cybersecurity can be a big issue, and in fact, the average cost of a healthcare data cybersecurity breach (including recovery times of up to 280 days) is around $7 million.2.

“As IT and OT architectures evolve, so must our approach to cybersecurity,” says Louise. “The best place to start is with an assessment that analyzes your production environment for vulnerabilities and returns high-priority recommendations that help you remediate high-risk areas first. We provide managed services to monitor and maintain our network, and have technicians onsite when necessary to protect power, systems and personnel.”

Increase resilience with remote operations and condition-based maintenance

Remote operations offer more than the ability to respond to alerts. The true value of remote operations for healthcare facilities lies in the ability to pre-empt, proactively troubleshoot, and prevent building management system issues before they occur. Similarly, a passive approach to maintaining electrical and building management assets exposes everyone to risk and uncertainty.

The most effective approach is to adopt state-based maintenance. This allows remote sensor information to be used to assess when to perform critical asset maintenance on demand rather than on a set schedule.

“Condition-based maintenance harnesses the power of big data to predict problems and prevent disruptions,” says Louise. “The digitization of power and Bill Her systems is key to unlocking that data, making data-driven decisions, and driving resilience.”

building for the future

Resilience must be at the heart of the construction of future healthcare facilities. The economic benefits alone make it worth pursuing, but there are other incentives.

“Achieving resilience in healthcare facilities requires anticipating, preparing for, and protecting against all adverse events,” says Louise. “But resilience strategy is about more than figuring out what will happen in an emergency. improve reliability, maintain cybersecurity in healthcare facilities, protect critical assets, and allow sites to be managed remotely.

Learn more about upcoming Schneider Electric digital building solutions here. se.com/au/Buildings-of-the-future


1 https://interbitdata.com/costs-impact-hcis-downtimes/

2 https://www.hipaajournal.com/ibm-security-2020-cost-of-data-breach-report-shows-10-annual-increase-in-healthcare-data-breach-costs/

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/sudok1

No medical downtime

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