What is Health Security?
Health Security is a new clinical subspecialty that focuses on preparedness and response to local, regional and global health crises. This includes managing resource utilization, overseeing medical team organization, and optimizing health system performance and patient care in response to catastrophic health emergencies. Ultimately, the goals are to preserve health system function and mitigate morbidity, mortality, and social/economic disruptions.
Health Security encompasses preparedness and response for a variety of threats, including meteorological and other natural disasters, bioterrorism, chemical, radiological and nuclear incidents, emerging infectious diseases, and pandemics. It is inherently multi-disciplinary and team-oriented, involving risk assessment, disease surveillance and modeling, healthcare planning and operations, incident management, decision science, operations research, technology and system innovation, logistics and supply chain management, healthcare economics, and national and international policy.
Physicians who practice in the field of health security incorporate skills from the specialties of emergency medicine, infectious disease, critical care, emergency management and public health. As leaders managing planning and operations for complex healthcare delivery and emergency management systems, Health Security practitioners must have a strong foundation in the theory and practice of crisis response, disaster medicine and public health.