Emerson Survey Shows Patient Room Backup Power is a Top Concern for North American Hospital IT Staff

More Than Half Of Patient Rooms Are Not Supported By Uninterruptible Power Supplies

COLUMBUS, Ohio--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- With hospitals increasingly relying on information technologies when serving patients, healthcare IT professionals are citing in-room backup power needs, tighter budgets, and data center availability as their top concerns, according to a survey released today by Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson (NYSE: EMR) and the global leader in enabling Business-Critical Continuity™.

The mid-year 2010 survey on IT and facilities issues inside the hospital is based on responses from North America-based professionals in hospital IT management/IT operations, data center management, and facilities management.

While the importance of uninterruptible power is well understood in data centers and network closets, the survey results suggest the same cannot be said for hospital rooms. In instances where IT usage comes to the point of care, more than half of patient rooms are not supported by uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems. Additionally, just 28 percent of operating rooms have emergency power receptacles serviced through a UPS system. This lack of protection makes critical patient data vulnerable to outages as there is no temporary power supply until the hospital’s emergency generators can assume the main load.

“Budget, power requirements, and availability are top concerns of data center and IT professionals everywhere, so it is no surprise that those concerns are prominent inside the hospital as well,” said Bob Bauer, group vice president, Emerson, and president, the Liebert business of Emerson Network Power. “Hospital-wide power protection in operating rooms and patient rooms is critical to ensure consistent, reliable patient care. Easy physician access to patient records and vital data—even during a power outage—should be a priority for all healthcare facilities.”

The survey results also revealed that more than half of respondents upgraded their healthcare facility’s power and cooling infrastructure when implementing new technologies like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)/network communications and picture archiving and communication systems (PACS).

Regarding downtime, 32 percent of surveyed hospital IT staff had experienced unplanned downtime of their IT systems, while 29 percent responded that their data centers did not deploy redundant power systems or didn’t know what type of distribution strategy was being used. This suggests that, despite an increased reliance on IT, there is a need for increasing awareness of power infrastructure technologies and strategies.

The majority of respondents also cited major changes and expansion on the horizon, despite the economic recession. In the next 24 months, 60 percent indicated they plan to add more server and storage capacity in their hospital data centers, while more than half are planning to update or expand IT infrastructure within an existing hospital.

Although a number of respondents identified application services that are currently being evaluated for internal or external cloud environments, security is a top concern. Forty-nine percent of respondents mentioned a concern with security and cloud computing, likely due to the sensitive nature of a hospital’s business and regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

For details on the survey results, see the full report here. For more information on Liebert technologies and services from Emerson Network Power, visit www.Liebert.com.

About Emerson Network Power

Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson (NYSE:EMR), is the global leader in enabling Business-Critical Continuity™ from grid to chip for telecommunication networks, data centers, and healthcare and industrial facilities. Emerson Network Power provides innovative solutions and expertise in areas including AC and DC power and precision cooling systems, embedded computing and power, integrated racks and enclosures, power switching and controls, infrastructure management, and connectivity. All solutions are supported globally by local Emerson Network Power service technicians. Learn more about Emerson Network Power products and services at www.EmersonNetworkPower.com.

About Emerson

Emerson (NYSE: EMR), based in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial, and consumer markets through its network power, process management, industrial automation, climate technologies, and appliance and tools businesses. Sales in fiscal 2010 were $21 billion. For more information, visit www.Emerson.com.


for Emerson
Mike Slatin, 314-982-8661
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