The Program Management Office for the National Health Security Preparedness Index is now soliciting recommendations for new measures to be incorporated into future versions of the Index. We invite recommendations from all stakeholders having scientific and/or operational knowledge about strategies for reducing the impact of large-scale hazards, disasters, and emergencies on human health and wellbeing. We also invite recommendations about existing Index measures to be modified or eliminated. Recommendations must be received by February 15 to be considered for the next iteration of the Index.
The National Health Security Preparedness Index provides a tool for assessing and improving the nation’s readiness for large-scale health threats, disasters, and emergencies. The Index allows users to explore key components of preparedness and resiliency for the nation as a whole, and to compare preparedness levels across all 50 states. As such, the Index is designed to promote awareness and understanding of preparedness principles and practices, mobilize multi-sector coordination and cooperation, facilitate benchmarking and quality improvement, and inform planning and policy development. The Index aggregates existing state-level preparedness data from a wide variety of sources and computes a range of key measures for each of the 50 states and the nation as a whole.
The 2014 version of the Index, released in December 2014, contains a total of 194 individual measures, which are grouped into six domains of preparedness and 18 subdomains. Additional subdomains have been identified but will not be used in the Index until appropriate measures and data have been developed. The Index and its associated documentation can be accessed at www.nhspi.org
The Index was developed with support from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and with leadership from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, working with more than 25 other stakeholder organizations. Beginning in 2015, responsibility for future development of the Index transitioned to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, working with the Program Management Office based at the University of Kentucky.
Submission of Measure Recommendations
Stakeholders are invited to recommend new measures for inclusion in the Index, to recommend changes to existing measure definitions and specifications, and to recommend deletion of existing measures from the Index. Recommendations for new measures that reflect social, economic, and/or environmental dimensions of preparedness and resiliency are especially encouraged, as these constructs are currently under-represented in the Index structure. The Index gives priority to measures that can be constructed from existing, low-cost data sources such as surveys, records, registries, documents, images, sensors, or other automated monitoring systems. We are especially interested in measures that make use of novel electronic data sources such as data from web search engines, social media, satellite imagery, and commercial transactions. Measures that have been previously validated and that provide both national-level and state-level estimates of preparedness and resiliency are of primary interest.
Review and Processing of Recommendations
The Program Management Office will review and consider all recommendations submitted by February 15 for use in updating and refining subsequent releases of Index measures. In some cases, office staff may contact submitters to obtain more information about a recommendation. Factors to be considered in evaluating recommendations include: the strength of empirical evidence linking the measured construct to core preparedness and resiliency dimensions; the ability of the measure to inform preparedness decision-making and action by one or more relevant stakeholder groups; documentation on the validity and reliability of the measure; availability of timely and longitudinal data on the measure at both national and state levels; and the resources required to incorporate the measure into the Index.