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We live in an age when power is critical to our livelihood. Our objective is to present you with industry trends, regulations and best practices, so you can make informed choices that have a positive impact on our lives, for now and the future.

Leveraging the Manufacturing Quality Improvement Techniques of Healthcare Facility

Power reliability in healthcare facilities is strongly related to the quality of healthcare delivery. A reliable electricity supply is vital for access to patient data, medical and back-office equipment and even entertainment and information systems. And as we move forward into the Internet of Things (IOT) age, it’s safe to say that being able to charge a cellphone or smartwatch could have a material impact on services like remote health monitoring.

The financial impact of extensive power disruption was amply demonstrated during the August 2003 blackout in North America. It affected 45 million people in eight US states and a further 10 million in parts of Canada. Healthcare facilities experienced hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue from cancelled services, legal liability, and damaged reputations. Six hospitals were in bankruptcy one year later.

This is a problem for the industry as healthcare facilities have exceptionally low tolerances for power disruptions and require extraordinary reliability from their power systems. Minor fluctuations can impact the delicate voltage requirements for MRI and CT scanners. More extensive power events can affect life support systems, as well as critical ancillary infrastructure systems which must remain online at all times.

Statistics show that the majority of errors in healthcare facilities are the result of shortcomings in processes. At Schneider Electric, our day-to-day work across a wide range of industries brings us into contact with various process improvement techniques that have been used to advance the quality of healthcare. These techniques have been employed as effective, safe, patient-centered, timely, efficient and equitable techniques.

The techniques can be applied to everything from plant maintenance to ward cleaning! PDSA (plan-do-study-act) cycles have been used to drive improvements in the quality and safety of healthcare. The method is widely used to provide a structure for iterative testing of changes to improve the quality of systems.

The link between manufacturing and healthcare is well defined in which both industry workers rely on multiple, complex processes to accomplish tasks and add value. When seriously adverse healthcare incidents occur, it’s important that lessons are learned because often lives or quality of life is at risk.

To prevent the risk of the same thing happening elsewhere, Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is a well-recognized and structured retrospective investigation method. RCA seeks to identify underlying problems that increase the likelihood of errors while avoiding focusing on mistakes by individuals. It uses the systems approach to identify both active and latent.

Healthcare facilities are constantly expanding and buildings are reconfigured to add equipment and services to accommodate new patient needs. At the same time, their competitive edge is becoming increasingly dependent on modern technology, resulting in more complex systems, processes and power requirements. To help you gain full control for troubleshooting and potentially life-saving decision-making, Schneider Electric offers full integration using software to visualize the complete system.

Credits: Hans Luppens, Global Business Development Manager, Healthcare, Water and Airports Market for IT and non IT Applications
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