Study measures NH’s health emergency readiness

New Hampshire has improved overall when it comes to how prepared it is in managing community health emergencies, according to an assessment by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

According to the National Health Security Preparedness Index, which has been released every year since 2013, New Hampshire earned a total 2019 score of 6.8 on a 10-point scale, slightly better than the national average of 6.7.

The index analyzes 129 different measures — including the percentage of bridges that are in good condition, the prevalence of hazard planning in public schools, the number of paramedics and hospitals and other factors — to calculate a composite score that is designed to indicate the ability to protect the health status of residents.

• Health security surveillance: The ability to monitor and detect health threats, and to identify where hazards start and spread so that they can be contained rapidly. New Hampshire’s 2019 score: 8.5. 2013 score: 6.7.

• Community planning and engagement: The ability to develop and maintain supportive relationships among government agencies, community organizations and individual households. New Hampshire’s 2019 score: 4.6. 2013 score: 3.9.

• Incident and information management: The ability to deploy people, supplies, money and information to the locations where they are most effective in protecting health. New Hampshire’s 2019 score: 8.7. 2013 score: 7.4.

• Healthcare delivery: The ability to ensure access to high-quality medical services across the continuum of care during and after disasters and emergencies. New Hampshire’s 2019 score: 5.9. 2013 score: 5.2.

• Countermeasure management: The ability to store and deploy health-related products and supplies that protect people from diseases and injuries. New Hampshire’s 2019 score: 6.3. 2013 score: 6.6.

• Environmental and occupational health: The ability to maintain the security and safety of water and food supplies, to test for hazards and contaminants in the environment, and to protect workers and emergency responders. New Hampshire’s 2019 score: 6.4. 2013 score: 6.5.

“We are seeing some promising national numbers when it comes to our nation’s ability to cope with health emergencies,” said Alonzo Plough, chief science officer at RWJF. “Disasters like recent major hurricanes show that to take the next step in increasing our preparedness levels, we must focus on improving equity within our efforts.”

To see the entire report, visit nhspi.org.

Categories: Health

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