Performance Improvement 2009. Have Public Health Departments Made Progress in Preparedness; What Challenges Remain?

01/01/2009

Researchers collected and assessed data on the progress since 2001 of state and local public health preparedness. For the review, researchers compiled and validated data, identified trends, and identified gaps in data availability.

Researchers found that the number of epidemiologists working in emergency response had increased. All states could receive and evaluate reports of urgent health threats 24/7/365 (that is, any day, time, every day) compared to 12 states in 1999. The number of public health laboratories that could detect biological and chemical agents as members of the Laboratory Response Network increased. All states trained public health staff in the Incident Command System compared to only 14 did so in 1999. Remaining were several challenges: difficulty recruiting and retaining qualified epidemiologists and laboratory scientists; limited ability to electronically exchange health data; and difficulty sustaining a system of all-hazards planning, training, exercising, and improving in order to be ready to help at-risk populations. The study highlighted the need for more comprehensive data on public health preparedness. The analysis reinforced the complex nature of public health preparedness, as different jurisdictions must plan for the unique characteristics of their communities and respond to varying threats.

Report Title: Public Health Preparedness: Mobilizing State by State http://emergency.cdc.gov/publications/feb08phprep/

Agency Sponsor: CDC, Centers for Disease Control
Federal Contact: Andrea Baeder, 404-498-4002
Performer: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; ,
PIC ID: 9094

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