Recently, the Robert Wood May Foundation released the latest version of its National Health Security Preparedness Index. The Index includes 129 measures grouped into six broad domains:

  • Health Security Surveillance
  • Community Planning and Engagement
  • Information and Incident Management
  • Healthcare Delivery
  • Countermeasure Management
  • Environmental and Occupational Health

Results from the release indicate that security preparedness continued to improve in 2018, but still remain far from optimal. The national index reached 6.7 out of 10 in 2018, representing a 3.1 percent improvement over the prior year, and a 11.7 percent improvement since 2013.

According to the report, if current trends continue, the average state will require six additional years to reach health security levels currently found in the best-prepared states, and at least ten more years to reach a strong health security level of at least 9.0 out of 10.

The following are select key findings from the report:

  • Consistent Gains. The United States posted a sixth consecutive year of gains in health security nationally, with the Index reaching its highest level of 6.7 out of 10 in 2018.
  • Modest Improvement. The national index increased by two percentage points in 2018 from the prior year (3.1%), and by seven percentage points since 2013 (11.7%).
  • Inequities in Protection. The nation’s health protections are not distributed evenly across the United States. A gap of 25 percent in index values exists between the highest and lowest states (states in the South Central, Upper Mountain West, Pacific Coast and Midwest regions experienced significantly lower health security levels and smaller gains in health security over time compared to their counterparts in other r