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.
In the midst of the global and national response to Ebola, examining the country’s preparedness takes on heightened significance. The situation in West Africa reminds us of the many infectious diseases and other disasters with potential for widespread health consequences domestically and internationally. The National Health Security Preparedness Index™ (NHSPI™; the Index™) provides a fresh way to measure and advance the nation’s readiness to respond to large scale emergencies of all kinds.
The second annual release of the NHSPI™ on December 9, 2014, reveals the next version of this evolving tool. The 2014 Index includes an expanded and revised structure, additional measures, and updated data, adding richness to the preparedness picture that the NHSPI™ attempts to capture. Guided by stakeholder input, the NHSPI™ Project Team focused on enhancing two key areas in 2014: healthcare delivery and environmental and occupational health. The 2014 Index links 194 measures across six domains and 18 sub-domains to more fully portray the U.S. and states’ preparedness.
The Index is an important tool for practitioners, policymakers, researchers, and communicators. Though too early in development for use in trend analysis, current versions of the NHSPI™ can help states, sectors, and response systems support quality improvement, inform decisions, enhance collaboration and engage new partners. The Index can be a strong driver of conversations about the shared responsibility for health security.
The NHSPI™ was inspired by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and developed by a coalition of 35 preparedness and response partner organizations facilitated by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO). The NHSPI™ will continue to evolve in 2015 and beyond under new leadership from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The Foundation 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 (UK) to help manage this important project.
Future activities to enhance the Index will likely include: continuing to advance the model, engaging new sectors influencing health security preparedness, undertaking validation studies, and developing new tools and website features to further promote the Index’s use. Following the Index’s transfer from CDC to RWJF, the new NHSPI™ program management operations will be housed at the University of Kentucky.
Learn more about your state’s preparedness progress and share your feedback on the Index at www.nhspi.org