ASTHO unveils health-preparedness index results

The ASTHO released its 2014 health preparedness index on Tuesday, highlighting areas for improvement. | Courtesy of NHSPI

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) released the 2014 National Health Security Preparedness Index (NHSPI) on Tuesday in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and 35 other development partners.

“This year’s index more fully reflects the range of components influencing health security of our states and the nation,” Dr. Tom Inglesby, chairman of the NHSPI Steering Committee, said. “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.”

The national result was a 7.4 on a scale of 10, suggesting that the U.S. has “substantial health security preparedness capability,” but can also improve in some areas. The index said the country was strong in health security surveillance, countermeasure management, and incident and information management.

Improvements were suggested in community planning and engagement, a new domain of environmental and occupational health and health care delivery. This is the second year for the index, and the organization said it's too early to make year-to-year comparisons.

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