Top 6 FAQs when Choosing Healthcare Power Products

Selecting compliant power products is an essential but often confusing part of a healthcare manager’s job. If you purchase power strips, surge protectors, isolation transformers or uninterruptible power supplies for your facility, the following questions and answers will help you make an informed choice.

Top 6 FAQs

1. How does location affect my choice of power products?
Where you install your power products can determine the type of product you need to purchase. From a regulatory standpoint, there are two distinct areas within healthcare facilities: inside the patient-care room and outside the patient-care room. If a power product is installed inside a patient-care room, it must be “medical-grade” and UL 60601-1 compliant.

2. How is a “patient-care room” defined?
A patient-care room is “any area within a healthcare facility where patients are intended to be examined or treated.” Patient-care rooms include both general- and critical-care areas:

  • General-Care Areas—patient bedrooms, examining rooms, treatment rooms, clinics and similar areas where patients come in contact with “ordinary devices” such as nurse call systems, electrical beds, examining lamps, telephone or entertainment devices and electro-medical equipment.
  • Critical-Care Areas—special care units such as intensive care units, delivery rooms, operating rooms, coronary care units, angiography labs and other areas where patients will be subjected to invasive procedures and connected to on-line electro-medical devices.

3. How is “patient care vicinity” defined?
Patient care vicinity is “a space within a location intended for the examination and treatment of patients (i.e., patient care room) extending 6 ft. beyond the normal location of the bed, chair, table, treadmill, or other device that supports the patient during examination and treatment and extends vertically 7 ft. 6 in. above the floor.”

4. What is the difference between “medical-grade” and “hospital-grade”?
These terms are often used synonymously. “Medical-Grade” power products are UL 60601-1 compliant and designed for use inside the patient care vicinity. They are not to be confused with power products that feature a “Hospital-Grade” plug and/or receptacles.

Many healthcare facilities unknowingly install non-compliant power strips, surge protectors and backup power supplies in patient-care rooms, believing that all models with hospital-grade plugs and receptacles are UL 60601-1 compliant. They are not. The use of non-compliant products can be dangerous and should be immediately replaced by fully-compliant models.

5. What is the difference between “UL-Listed” and “UL-Recognized”?
Two power strips can meet the requirements of the same UL standard (60601-1, for example) but receive two different UL ratings: either “listed” or “recognized.” The difference is simple: UL “lists” a stand-alone product, but “recognizes” a product that is a component of a larger system. In healthcare applications, power strips that stand alone and are not designed as components of a larger system are UL-listed.

6. What standards apply to mobile applications?
Some diagnosis, treatment, or monitoring equipment can be moved in and out of the patient-care vicinity and is therefore subject to the UL 60601-1 standard. Specialty purpose power strips and backup power supplies are available as components of larger medical systems. These products are UL-recognized for 60601-1 and 1363a standards and can be used both inside and outside of patient-care rooms.

  • UL 60601-1: patient shock-prevention measure required for all devices that potentially come in contact with patients and staff.
  • UL 1363a: standard for power strips that are integrated as components of a larger system, where they supply power to equipment in movable assembly that is rack, table or pedestal-mounted.


The NEMA Publishes X-ray Equipment Standard

Published on June 13, 2016

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has published NEMA XR 31-2016: Standard Attributes on X-ray Equipment for Interventional Procedures—a standard developed by its Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance (MITA) division. This standard,  which uses MITA Smart Dose Interventional technology, offers healthcare providers tangible ways to manage patient radiation dose delivery while still enabling x-ray systems to provide sufficient image quality needed by physicians.

NEMA XR 31-2016 describes eight features that should be taken into consideration when performing risk management evaluations on existing stationary x-ray interventional equipment. They include: digital x-ray imaging device classification, dosimetric indication, added filters, range of air kerma rates in fluoroscopy, last-image-hold, virtual collimation, stored fluoroscopy, and variable-pulsed fluoroscopy.

“MITA is dedicated to developing standards for medical imaging equipment that enhances patient safety by providing dose reduction, mitigation, and management features,” says Megan Hayes, MITA’s director of regulatory and standards strategy. “The MITA Smart Dose Interventional standard identifies state-of-the-art attributes that will help manage patient dose while ensuring high image quality for the physician.”

NEMA XR 31-2016 may be downloaded at no cost on NEMA’s Website.

Source: 24×7 Magazine

AAMI Spotlights Influence of Healthcare Technology on Patient Safety

Posted March 15, 2016

“On April 17, 2003, I died.”

That year, Matt Whitman, a Michigan state trooper, now retired, was hit by a drunk driver and had to undergo neck surgery. The operation went smoothly, but in the recovery room, a new danger emerged. He was placed on a morphine pump for the pain, but without any electronic monitoring. That night, he stopped breathing—a case of respiratory failure induced by the opioids he was taking. Were it not for a nurse passing by his room to look for an item for another patient, Whitman believes he would be dead.

“I heard you take your last breath,” Whitman recalled the nurse telling him. The nurse called a Code Blue, and a team of doctors resuscitated Whitman. When he came to, a priest was holding his hand.

Unfortunately, not everyone is as lucky as Whitman, and experiences like his are all too common.

According to the National Patient Safety Foundation, one in 10 patients will develop a healthcare-acquired condition during hospitalization. Overall, medical error has been estimated to cause 44,000 to 98,000 deaths in hospitals each year, with recent research suggesting the number could be as high as 440,000 deaths.

Patient safety has become a major public health issue, and this week is dedicated to increasing awareness among healthcare professionals and the public. In recognition of Patient Safety Awareness Week, AAMI is shining a light on the crucial and growing role that safe and effective healthcare technology plays in patient outcomes.

“Advances in healthcare technology are helping patients in ways we could not have imagined not too long ago. Many hospitals are saving lives by integrating technologies such as continuous electronic monitoring of patients on opioids and smart infusion pumps as tools to support the work of clinicians,” said Marilyn Neder Flack, senior vice president of patient safety initiatives at AAMI and executive director of the AAMI Foundation. “At the same time, it can be a challenge to ensure that healthcare technology is developed and used in the best way possible—always with an eye on clinical workflow and patient safety. The AAMI Foundation is committed to tackling these complex issues through our patient safety initiatives. Today, under the Foundation umbrella, more than 100 committed individuals are working toward achieving the goal that no patient will be harmed by healthcare technology.”

The AAMI Foundation’s initiatives are focused on infusion systems, clinical alarms, continuous monitoring of patients on opioids, and home health infusions.

All of AAMI functions with an appreciation for the ultimate goal of advancing patient safety, whether in the form of training webinars for industry professionals, certification options for technicians and specialists, or developing standards for medical devices and healthcare technology.

AAMI President Mary Logan stressed that the association’s mission is to provide global leadership to support the healthcare community in the development, management, and use of safe and effective healthcare technology.

“Patient safety is at the heart of everything that we do,” Logan said. “By developing standards, AAMI works to ensure that all medical devices are designed and manufactured with quality, safety, and usability in mind. By educating and certifying the healthcare technology management professionals who implement and service these devices, we help ensure that patients receive the highest quality care. And by bringing all stakeholders to the table when we discuss mutual challenges, we support the goal of finding lasting and comprehensive solutions.”

AAMI has a host of resources focusing on specific aspects of healthcare technology. All of these resources can be found at

The Smartphone Is a Smart Tool for Biomeds

Steven J. Yelton

April 11, 2016

As a college professor as well as a senior consultant for a clinical engineering department of a hospital, I have the privilege of working with people of all age groups. Most, if not all, have a smartphone. I have been very impressed at what a great tool it has been.

Before I go any farther, I have to say that on my classroom and laboratory, we have ground rules for use of smartphones, tablets, laptops, or similar devices. During a test, students definitely cannot use them.

During lectures, I basically ban the use of smartphones as well. I explain to my students that the use of such devices during a lecture is disruptive because as soon as someone starts looking at a screen, the students behind that person are straining to see what is on the screen. The first time that students see this happen with someone else in class, they are believers! The fact that students cannot use their smartphones during lectures hopefully forces them to develop their listening skills. There are few things worse than trying to carry on a conversation with or present a lecture to people who are also “on” their phone. They aren’t multitasking; they are rude.

If their phone rings, beeps, chirps, or preferably vibrates during a lecture, students are expected to quietly leave the room and take care of the situation. Most of my students have families, jobs, and other commitments in which an emergency might arise, and it’s important to recognize that fact. They learn that they should be courteous to the other students and professors.

That being said, I am a big fan of this technology when used with good manners.

I cannot tell you how many times students have used their smartphones to text a friend or colleague for information to help solve a lab problem. It could be something as simple as finding out the factory default password setting for a patient monitor. Smartphones have a camera, so students can take photos of things such as serial numbers, displays, or connections. They can email this information to others when they need help figuring out a particular challenge. They often include these photos in their lab reports. Such actions are not cheating; they represent a good use of students’ time. Once they figure out a problem, they will know the answer from then on. I don’t think that taking hours looking for the solution is any more valuable than finding help faster. (By the way, getting such help isn’t allowed during tests!)

The use of a smartphone in class can be beneficial in other ways. One time, I saw students using FaceTime to get another pair of eyes on a problem. We had a device in the lab with a particularly tricky problem. The students worked on it as a group. Even with some hints from the professor, they were having difficulty. They connected with a technician from one of the student’s co-op job via FaceTime to discuss the problem. I was very impressed that they were able to very clearly define the problem, show how the device reacted to inputs, and then get advice on how to proceed. The smartphone connects the world! I later found out that technicians from developing countries communicate with others via FaceTime to help solve problems. Not long ago, it would have been impossible to get help from faraway experts so quickly.

In conclusion, we need to embrace the technology, but do so with courtesy—and remember that the person standing in front of you takes priority.

Source:  AAMIBlog

Healthcare Technology Management Week (HTM Week)

May 22 @ 8:00 am – May 28 @ 5:00 pm

The annual Healthcare Technology Management Week celebration from AAMI, held May 22-28, is designed to promote the awareness of—and appreciation for—the critical work of biomedical equipment technicians (BMETs), clinical engineers, and others in the healthcare technology management (HTM) field.

AAMI’s Technology Management Council (TMC) has developed several resources and ideas for 2016 to help HTM professionals mark this appreciation week in their community or at their workplace, including:

Contest—Every year AAMI hosts a contest for the best celebration of HTM Week. The 2015 winners can be viewed on the AAMI website.

Free Posters—New poster designs for 2016 are available on the AAMI website.

Creative Ideas—A few ideas for celebrating HTM Week in the workplace.

Resources—These tools will help biomeds kick off their celebration.

Source: 24×7 Magazine