Steps Towards Safety: The Importance of Preventative Maintenance

It’s midnight on a Friday and the ER is filled to capacity. In the midst of this chaos, there is a sudden whirring sound. Then silence. Darkness. The backup generators are not kicking in as planned…
Preventive maintenance (PM) is essential to any hospital’s electrical maintenance plan. Electrical system failures, such as internal blackouts, directly impact patient care and drive maintenance and repair costs up. You can manage that risk and drastically reduce it, simply by maintaining a regular PM schedule. Here are some points made by David Stymiest in Health Facilities Management Magazine to bring home the value in PM:

  • Systems are 3 times more likely to fail – Hospitals that choose to forego regular PM, use a strategy known as “run-to-failure” maintenance and are three times more likely to fail, according to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
  • Loose electrical connections cause 25% of all electrical equipment failures – Sometimes loose from installation, other times from thermal expansion and contraction, loose electrical connections make up a full 25% of miscellaneous electrical equipment failures. Regularly checking connections can significantly reduce the risk of equipment failure.
  • Dust and dirt cause 30% of all electrical equipment failures – When dust and dirt build up inside equipment and become conductive, it can lead to future short circuits. Because it is so avoidable and causes an estimated 30% of equipment failures, a thorough PM plan should include regularly cleaning equipment rooms, checking for water and, if necessary, changing air filters.