As health care facilities continue to strive to provide patients with optimal prevention and treatment methods, the 24/7 availability of medical imaging devices such as MRIs and CT scanners has become more critical than ever. However, the power supply requirements for these pieces of equipment are especially demanding, with strict constraints required to ensure that they are always working.

Many imaging equipment installations include a power conditioner or power distribution unit (PDU) to provide different voltages and isolation, but, these types of device do not come close to delivering the level of immunity provided by an uninterruptible power system (UPS). As a result, a growing number of medical facilities are recognizing that UPSs are critical to proper operation and maintenance.

Why is an uninterruptible power supply important?

  1. Utility power is volatile. Grid overdemand, curious critters, the wrath of Mother Nature. Let’s face it, fulfilling the basic requirement of continuous, clean power has become more challenging than ever. It is impossible for utility companies to deliver the level of power required by sensitive medical equipment such as MRIs and CTs. Manufacturers of these devices specify compliance with certain power requirements, such as maintaining voltage parameters, eliminating electrical noise, and most mandate even tighter voltage specifications when the device is gathering images. An MRI UPS or a CT UPS protect these sophisticated diagnostic imaging devices against a wide range of power diseases.
  2. Repeating tests is expensive. Consider the implications if the power were to blink — or fail completely — before the sequence is completed during an imaging study. For many studies, it would necessitate a repeat exam, which could also result in repeated exposure to the patient. The cost and inconvenience of having to reschedule patients is another potential pain point.
  3. Patient care must remain the top priority. Beyond the financial and nuisance factors, the significance to losing in-process images could be far greater when related to a trauma patient. In these instances, the clinical guidance provided by the study could be essential to treatment decisions in scenarios where every second counts.
  4. UPSs help reduce overall costs. A growing number of radiology department administrators are recognizing that the upfront price tag of purchasing a UPS is far less than the long-term costs and consequences of not having one. These include downtime, the stress and burden of rescheduling patients, the cost of replacement parts and service needed to resolve issues and the necessity of premature equipment replacement.  UPSs not only increase a facility’s operational efficiency and productivity, but help healthcare organizations reduce operating costs — an investment that can be refocused into patient care.

Any organization using this type of equipment, maintaining reliable power ensures the accurate performance that patients depend on, while enabling personnel to efficiently perform tests and procedures. Furthermore, facilities should assess and review the criticality of every imaging resource they have on a regular basis. A device installed a couple of years ago — where UPS protection may have been overlooked at the time — could now be relied upon to evaluate stroke patients, or used for rapid scans of multi-trauma patients.

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