Friday, April 21, 2017

National Health Security Preparedness Index ranks states; Vermont most prepared, Alaska least

How prepared is your state for a public health emergency? The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has released the results of its 2017 National Health Security Preparedness Index, which uses more than 130 measures—such as hazard planning in public schools, monitoring food and water safety, wireless 9-1-1 capabilities, flu vaccination rates, and numbers of paramedics and hospitals—from 59 sources to rank states in six categories: health security surveillance; community planning and engagement; incident and information management; health-care delivery; countermeasure management; and environmental and occupational health.

States were ranked on a 10-point scale, with the national average being 6.8, a 1.5 percent increase over last year and 6.3 percent increase since the index was created four years ago. Vermont led the way with a score of 7.8, while Alaska had the worst score, 5.9. Many Southern states—Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina—were below average, along with Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.

Joining Vermont with above average scores were Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. (For an interactive version of the index click here)

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