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 the 2014 National Health Security Preparedness Index™ (NHSPI™) on December 9. This second iteration of the Index includes updated data and new content, especially in the areas of health care delivery (previously surge management) and environmental health.
The 2014 national result, 7.4 on a scale of 10, 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, and health security surveillance. Given the continued evolvement of its methodology and structure the NHSPI™ is not yet ready for trend analysis, a year-to-year comparisons of Index results. As it continues to mature, however, trend analysis will become feasible.
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. The NHSPI™ represents the most comprehensive set of health security preparedness measures to date. It aims to capture the health security preparedness of the nation by looking collectively at existing state-level data from a variety of sources. Uses of the Index include guiding quality improvement, informing policy and resource decisions, and encouraging shared responsibility for preparedness across a community.
The NHSPI™ will continue to evolve in 2015 and beyond under new leadership from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). RWJF is planning multiple activities to continue to grow the Index, including: engaging and incorporating other sectors that influence health security preparedness into the Index, incorporating model analysis and validation studies to inform Index improvement, and developing new web-based features and tools. The Foundation has engaged the University of Kentucky to help manage this important project.
To learn more about the NHSPI™ and the 2014 results, visit www.nhspi.org.