Today, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and more than 35 development partners, released its second report of the National Health Security Preparedness Index (NHSPI). The NHSPI graded the nation’s preparedness for natural disasters, terrorism, and disease pandemics at 7.4 out of 10.
This year’s index includes updated data and new content, especially in the areas of Health Care Delivery and Environmental Health.
The 2014 national result suggests that substantial health security preparedness capability exists across the nation with progress to sustain and build upon. It also suggests significant work still needs to be done. As with 2013 findings, 2014 areas of relative strength include:
- Countermeasure Management
- Incident and Information Management
- Health Security Surveillance
Areas suggesting need for greater development include:
- Environmental and Occupational Health,
- Health Care Delivery (Previously Surge Management)
- Community Planning and Engagement
“This year’s Index more fully reflects the range of components influencing health security of our states and the nation,” says Dr. Tom Inglesby, chair of the NHSPI Steering Committee. “With Ebola in West Africa, a resurgent strain of enterovirus in the United States, floods, mudslides, and wildfires in 2014, the importance of preparedness is all the more visible. We hope the 2014 NHSPI will be used to drive dialogue, build partnerships, and strengthen preparedness across the United States for these and many other disasters.”
Measuring the readiness of states and the nation for health security threats has long proved challenging. The NHSPI is designed to compile objective information about how well states and the nation are prepared for public health and other emergency situations and represents the most comprehensive set of health security preparedness measures to date.
Source: Association of State and Territorial Health Officials