About Publications

Publications from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provide objective and straightforward advice to decision makers and the public. This site includes Health and Medicine Division (HMD) publications released after 1998. A complete list of HMD’s publications from its establishment in 1970 to the present is available as a PDF.


  • Communicating to Advance the Public's Health: Workshop ... Released: March 17, 2015
    On September 22, 2014, the Roundtable on Population Health Improvement held a workshop to discuss some of the science of health communication, audiences, and messaging, and to explore what it will take to generate widespread awareness, acceptance, and action to improve health, including through the entertainment media, the news media, and social media.
  • Informed Consent and Health Literacy: Workshop Summary ... Released: March 16, 2015
    To explore what actions can be taken to help close the gap between what is required in the informed consent process and communicating it in a health-literate and meaningful manner to individuals, the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Roundtable on Health Literacy convened this one-day public workshop featuring presentations and discussions that examine the implications of health literacy for informed consent for both research involving human subjects and treatment of patients. The Roundtable on Health Literacy brings together leaders from academia, industry, government, foundations and associations, and representatives of patient and consumer interests who work to improve health literacy. To achieve its mission, the roundtable discusses challenges facing health-literacy practice and research, and identifies approaches to promote health literacy through mechanisms and partnerships in both the public and private sectors.
  • Public Health Implications of Raising the Minimum Age of ... Released: March 12, 2015
    In 2013, as requested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the IOM convened a committee to conduct a study on the public health implications of raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products. In the report, Public Health Implications of Raising the Minimum Age of Legal Access to Tobacco Products, the committee of experts reviews existing literature on tobacco use initiation, developmental biology and psy¬chology, and tobacco policy and predicts the likely public health outcomes of raising the MLA for tobacco products to 19 years, 21 years, and 25 years. The committee also uses mathematical modeling to quantify these predictions.
  • Ranking Vaccines Applications of a Prioritization Software ... Released: December 19, 2014
    In the Phase III work, the IOM in partnership with the National Academy of Engineering enhanced SMART Vaccines—version 1.1 of the software can be downloaded for free from www.nap.edu/smartvaccines. The supporting report, Ranking Vaccines: Applications of a Prioritization Software Tool, describes: (1) the evaluation of the software in international user-based applications, (2) a general data framework for the software, and (3) the next steps that would increase the use and value of SMART Vaccines.
  • Business Engagement in Building Healthy Communities ... Released: December 18, 2014
    The workshop was designed to explore how businesses can be effective key leaders and partners in improving the health of communities and why this is good for business and for the economic vibrancy of communities.
  • Facilitating Patient Understanding of Discharge Instructions ... Released: December 08, 2014
    The Roundtable on Health Literacy brings together leaders from academia, industry, government, foundations, and associations and representatives of patient and consumer interests who work to improve health literacy. To achieve its mission, the roundtable discusses challenges facing health literacy practice and research and identifies approaches to promote health literacy through mechanisms and partnerships in both the public and private sectors.
  • Research Priorities to Inform Public Health and Medical ... Released: November 14, 2014
    The current epidemic of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), cause by a filovirus, has spread internationally, now affecting multiple continents, and has become the worst EVD outbreak in history since its discovery in 1976. While the Ebola viruses have typically been studied in laboratory settings, additional biomedical and public health research in real world settings can best prepare the United States to safeguard the public and at-risk workers.
  • Capturing Social and Behavioral Domains and Measures in ... Released: November 13, 2014
    If standardized social and behavioral data can be incorporated into patient electronic health records (EHRs), those data can provide crucial information about factors that influence health and the effectiveness of treatment; with this goal in mind, a committee was convened to conduct a two-phase study, first to identify social and behavioral domains that most strongly determine health, and then to evaluate the measures of those domains that can be used in EHRs.
  • Exploring Opportunities for Collaboration Between Health and ... Released: November 12, 2014
    Literature has consistently identified education as a major factor contributing to health disparities in the United States by geography or demographic characteristics. A diverse body of research has established educational status as a major predictor of health outcomes, examined how health impacts the ability of students to learn, and how life expectancy for people without a high school education, particularly white women, is decreasing. To understand the complex relationships between education and health and explore how this understanding could inform our nation’s investments and policies, the Roundtable on Population Health Improvement held a public workshop in Washington, DC, on June 5, 2014.
  • Implications of Health Literacy for Public Health- Workshop ... Released: September 10, 2014
    Health literacy is the degree to which individuals can obtain, process, and understand the basic health information and services they need to make appropriate health decisions. The Institute of Medicine convened the Roundtable on Health Literacy to address issues raised in the report, Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion (IOM, 2004). The roundtable sponsored a workshop in Irvine, CA, on November 21, 2013, that focused on the implications of health literacy for the mission and essential services of public health.