September is, par excellence, the month of new beginnings, challenges, changes … For this reason, we have launched a new brochure of hospital engineering with information about our electrical safety equipment and services for critical and hospital areas.
At ETKHO we are aware that this September hospitals are beginning to prepare for a possible second wave of coronavirus, in addition to colds, flu, etc.
In this sense, it is time for health centers and hospitals to work so that their electrical safety is fully prepared for the avalanche of new patients expected in emergency rooms and, in general, in health centers during the fall.
When we talk about engineering, most people think of different types of engineering: civil, computer, electrical, industrial, mechanical … But few people will think of hospital engineering, an area in which we have been experts for 30 years.
Hospital engineering: what it is and what it is for
Hospital engineering is a great unknown to society. Therefore, with this article we want to shed some light on the sector and highlight the importance of hospital engineering within any health system.
In recent decades, technology has developed and is increasingly present in the healthcare sector. The modernization of the hospital sector has given rise to the need for engineers specialized in medical equipment and healthcare facilities.
Although hospital engineering was initially associated with the maintenance and proper use of hospital buildings, facilities and equipment, the fact is that it is one of the health professions that has evolved the most. Today, the role of the hospital engineer goes far beyond the maintenance or use of machinery and has adopted a more proactive and multidisciplinary role.
The hospital engineer has become a participant, for example, in the choice of equipment and new technologies that are implemented in hospitals. Furthermore, as Antonio Fernández Abásolo points out in The figure of the engineer in the hospital environment, the hospital engineering professional is also in charge of aspects related to:
Investment advice and new facilities.
- Direction of minor works and contract supervisor.
- Management of economic and human resources for the development of needs
- The technical-legal responsibility of the facilities.
The evolution from a maintenance profile to a more holistic one in which the hospital engineer has much more weight in clinical management has occurred over the last decades. In this sense, it has been a change that we have been able to experience firsthand from ETKHO since we have been offering electrical safety solutions for hospital facilities for 30 years.
Three decades serving hospitals and their critical areas
With more than 30 years of experience and an international presence in more than 20 countries, ETKHO is a company with a team of engineers specialized in hospital engineering solutions.
Thanks to our knowledge of the hospital sector and our experience in developing innovative solutions for the electrical safety of hospitals, ETKHO’s activity ranges from the development of new electrical safety products for hospital facilities to advice on electrical safety.
Our work is customer-oriented. Therefore, we dedicate significant resources and efforts to knowing their reality and needs in order to later satisfy them. In this way, we are committed not only to offering an efficient service with which we are helping to preserve patient safety in hospitals, but also to designing and manufacturing high-quality technological products.
Solutions and equipment in hospital engineering
Below we present the main ETKHO products in the field of hospital engineering and, more specifically, for use in surgical units, ICU and critical care areas.
The main mission of IT power supply systems in hospital environments is to automatically detect possible electrical faults to ground as well as to locate them quickly since an electrical failure in a hospital can mean the death of patients who are being in critical areas such as the ICU or are undergoing a surgical operation.
Isolated IT power supply systems for critical hospital areas allow the system to remain online in the event of any simple electrical failure, without affecting the work of the medical team or the general operation of the hospital and critical areas such as, for example, operating rooms.
The medical insulation monitor is responsible for continuously monitoring the insulation resistance of medical IT systems. This product that we have developed has isolated AC and / or AC / DC systems that emit an alarm in the event of a drop below a certain value.
The way to obtain this measurement is by connecting the monitor between the IT system and the grounding conductor. The current from this measurement is then superimposed on the system we are monitoring and evaluated by a measurement circuit.
On the other hand, this isolation monitor has an alarm repeater that repeats the possible alarms detected so that the clinical staff of the hospital is aware of them.
This uninterruptible power supply box that we have manufactured guarantees the supply of energy continuously for at least two hours and avoiding any type of cuts in the main network.
Uninterruptible power supplies are a must for critical hospital areas. Especially in the face of any type of adverse event that could put the correct functioning of these areas at risk and, therefore, the lives of many hospitalized patients.
These emergency power supply systems offer a number of specific loads that automatically come into operation in the event of a main power failure. They activate in less than 0.5 seconds. This is achieved thanks to a protection system in rack format and with online double conversion technology with sine wave that allows filtering any type of interference that occurs from or to the main power supply.
During a surgical operation, the medical team must have the guarantee and security that they have the best medical equipment. Only in this way will they be able to carry out their work efficiently and with complete peace of mind because, as we have mentioned on some occasion, a minimal failure can endanger the life of the person who is being operated on.
In this sense, the use of surgical lamps in the operating room is essential. To ensure the viability of the medical team even in the face of unexpected adversity, there are power supply units for surgical lights.
It is an emergency power supply that guarantees the operation of both the lamp and its external wall controls for at least two hours in the event of a main system failure or unintentional power failure.
The emergency power supply is a box in which it integrates:
- Network supply
- Emergency power supply, with charger-rectifier, as well as a high quality lead battery, totally watertight and without the release of gases.
This type of unit is installed by carrying out wall mounting in technical areas.
Most of the products that we develop and manufacture at ETKHO are focused on hospital electrical safety. Therefore, they are essential solutions for surgical units, ICUs and critical areas.
One of these essentials in hospital engineering are ground connectors. Its functionality consists of creating an equipotential connection to earth that allows to avoid contact voltage in critical hospital areas.
This type of equipotential bonding to ground is essential in the electrical installation of critical medical areas. In turn, to create this type of ground connection it is necessary to have a grounding busbar panel.
All electromedical machinery and equipment as well as conductive surfaces within critical medical areas must be connected to an equipotential ground with a connector with a high flexibility conductor and sufficient cross section.
Another essential element to guarantee electrical safety in surgical units, ICUs and critical care areas are electrical outlet hospital panels, as they help prevent contact voltages.
They are installed on recessed panels and with mixed configurations, depending on the need of the electrical installation of the hospital in question.
It should also be noted that these hospital panels allow the ground cables to be as short as possible in order to achieve an impedance <0.1OΩ, from any metal part found in the medical area to the ground busbar panel.
Both batteries and transformers intended for medical use are unique and specific components used in isolated power systems and have their own characteristics and functionalities:
- Batteries: 12 Volt high discharge lead, with an intensity range between 7.0 and 90A. Batteries for emergency supply units are manufactured using AGM technology, sealed for consistent performance and great durability. It has gas regulation valves and they are designed to recombine them with the minimum loss of hydrogen. On the other hand, they help to regulate the pressure internally, which facilitates better performance and greater safety.
- Transformer: is responsible for allowing the separation of circuits for installations with isolated neutral. We have single-phase and three-phase transformers with galvanic isolation between primary and secondary, developed in accordance with IEC EN 61558-2-15: 2012 standard. They are suitable for generating an IT neutral regime in facilities with processes sensitive to interruption. On the other hand, it includes a thermal protector against overloads and overheating, with a low loss magnetic core as well as an electrostatic display between windings connected to independent terminal.
As a result of our experience of more than 30 years and aware that the field of hospital engineering is complex and evolving rapidly, among our services we highlight the advice on electrical safety.
Our team of engineers provides a personalized service with the aim that hospitals have a quality electrical safety system and all the guarantees. To do this, we carry out an assessment of electrical installations to detect faults, weaknesses and potential risks and determine what actions are necessary for hospital electrical safety in essential areas such as IT supply power systems, uninterruptible power systems, equipotentiality systems and lands and architectural medical equipment.
Contact us and we will help you create a hospital electrical safety system prepared to continue operating in the event of any adverse event and, consequently, to guarantee medical work and patient safety.