As a Nation, we need to protect the health and safety of our people from naturally occurring or intentional threats. Early threat detection and sustained situational awareness are critical to saving lives and improving outcomes when there is a national health emergency. The Administration’s new National Strategy for Biosurveillance aims to unify national effort around a common purpose and establish new ways of thinking about providing information to enable better decisionmaking.
The Strategy promotes an all-of-Nation approach that brings together Federal, state, local, and tribal governments; the private sector; non-governmental organizations; and international partners to identify and understand threats as early as possible and provide accurate and timely information to support life-saving responses. The Strategy calls for focusing on the most important information, and shaping the enterprise to meet that need, so that we can do more with less.
The Strategy emphasizes four key biosurveillance functions which are critical for the effectiveness of the biosurveillance enterprise. They are:
• Scan and Discern the Environment
• Integrate and Identify Essential Information
• Alert and Inform Decisionmakers
• Forecast and Advise Impacts
Advances in technology, the advent of social media, and new science provide opportunities to strengthen our national biosurveillance enterprise. As a next step, during the next 120 days, the Administration will lay out specific action steps going forward in an implementation plan. It is by working together that we can best promote the resilience of the Nation and act to protect the American people.