An HVAC burnout caused problems at a California hospital (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

An HVAC burnout caused problems at a California hospital.

HVAC Failure Causes Big Problem at Hospital

A working HVAC system is a beautiful thing. A malfunctioning HVAC system, however, can mean a huge headache. Just take it from Rideout Memorial Hospital, based in Yuba City, California, which Health IT Outcomes said had its electronic health records system taken down for a week due to an HVAC system burnout.

To make matters worse, disruption occurred while an inspection team from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals — a highly-sought-after certification standard in the industry — was visiting. The facility currently does not have that certification.

While Rideout CEO Robert Chason emphasized McKesson's system was not culpable in the outage and assured the media that the outage had little impact on patient care, others suggest that the effects were far more palpable. He said one of two HVAC units burned out, and a second unit also failed when it overcompensated for the burned-out unit. “As the temperature rose, it exceeded the computer system's tolerance,” Chason said earlier this week.

This should be a great reminder to HVAC businesses and customers alike that regular testing and maintenance of these systems is a must. It is imperative to ensure a building’s HVAC system, particularly a hospital’s, is properly functioning.

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