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State ranks high in public health emergency preparedness

The Ready or Not: Protecting the Public’s Health from Diseases, Disasters and Bioterrorism report has tracked public health emergency preparedness in the United States since 2003. The series has documented significant progress in the nation’s level of preparedness as well as those areas still in need of improvement.

This year Mississippi is one of 17 states to place in the top tier of a three-tiered measure of performance on 10 indicators. Twenty states and the District of Columbia scored in the middle tier, while the remaining 13 states scored in the bottom tier.

The indicators used in the study were as follows:

  • Incident Management: Adoption of the Nurse Licensure Compact.
  • Water Security: Percentage of the population who used a community water system that failed to meet all applicable health-based standards.
  • Cross-Sector Community Collaboration: Percentage of hospitals participating in healthcare coalitions.
  • Workforce Resiliency and Infection Control: Percentage of employed population with paid time off.
  • Institutional Quality: Accreditation by the Public Health Accreditation Board.
  • Countermeasure Utilization: Percentage of people ages 6 months or older who received a seasonal flu vaccination.
  • Institutional Quality: Accreditation by the Emergency Management Accreditation Program.
  • Patient Safety: Percentage of hospitals with a top-quality ranking (Grade A) on the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade.
  • Institutional Quality: Size of the state public health budget, compared with the past year.
  • Health Security Surveillance: The public health laboratory has a plan for a six- to eight-week surge in testing capacity.

“This report acknowledges the efforts of the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) and our many partners continuing to advance public health preparedness and improve our state’s capacity to quickly and effectively respond to a wide range of health hazards and emergencies,” said Jim Craig, MSDH Director of Health Protection. “While we appreciate the good report for Mississippi, we also know that there is still work to be done.”

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