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QUESTION: Does anyone know if there are requirements for the plant staff to stay on-site while the generators are running or is it more of an internal decision? My thinking is that we could easily go to four- to six-hour rounds and check on them throughout the extended run time?

Constant monitoring of data and proactive alarms is of paramount importance. I have found it common practice in long-term power outages for there to be a plant technician on-site at all times. The new wireless monitoring platforms are priceless. We have them at several hospitals. The information is autofilled, archived and meets the reporting requirements of all authorities having jurisdiction.

QUESTION: Would someone be able to share a relocatable power tap (RPT) policy that is working?

We’ve had pretty good success in utilizing the American Society for Healthcare Engineering template, located on the Focus on Compliance page: We are working in tandem with our information technology crew to perform a mass replacement of all RPTs throughout the main hospital. Other additional measures that we’ve taken are flagging unauthorized models in our purchasing system and adding it to the section’s environment of care checklist that is supposed to be run monthly.

QUESTION: What are others doing for drinking water for patients and staff? We have many 5-gallon water dispensers throughout our facility that have become very costly for us and have been asked to replace them.

Consider water-bottle filling stations in lieu of 5-gallon water bottles. Depending on the type of water fountain, you may be able to place a water-bottle filling station on top of it through the use of the vendor’s retro kit. However, I have found that it is easier to replace the whole fountain with a combination unit that has a water fountain and a bottle-filling station.

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