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.


  • Oral Health Literacy - Workshop Summary : Health and ... Released: February 21, 2013
    Limited oral health literacy is associated with inaccurate knowledge about preventive measures such as water fluoridation, dental care visits, and oral health-related quality of life. The public and health care providers are largely unaware of the basic risk factors and preventive regimens for many oral diseases. Oral disease is expensive in terms of teeth, time, and money and results in pain, disfigurement, loss of school and work days, and even death when left untreated. The IOM Roundtable on Health Literacy held a workshop to examine the field of oral health literacy.
  • Monitoring HIV Care in the United States: A Strategy for ... Released: October 05, 2012
    Approximately 1.2 million people in the United States live with HIV, and the number increases each year. This second of two IOM reports on monitoring HIV care shows that monitoring will provide an enhanced means of assessing the effect of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and the Affordable Care Act on care received by people with HIV – knowledge that can inform future planning and guide potential redistribution of resources to improve the efficiency and quality of care and reduce health disparities.
  • How Can Health Care Organizations Become More Health ... Released: July 18, 2012
    Approximately 80 million adults in the United States have low health literacy – an individual’s ability to obtain, process, and understand basic health information – creating a plethora of health-related difficulties. It is important for health care organizations to develop strategies that can improve their health literacy, yet organizations often find it difficult to determine exactly what it means to be health literate. The IOM Roundtable on Health Literacy held a workshop to discuss the growing recognition that health literacy depends not only on individual skills and abilities but also on the demands and complexities of the health care system.
  • Monitoring HIV Care in the United States: Indicators and Data ... Released: March 15, 2012
    Advances in medical treatment have made it possible for people infected with HIV to live longer, healthier lives. The CDC estimates that 1.2 million people live with HIV in the United States, with approximately 50,000 people newly infected each year. People with HIV require continuous access to quality care and treatment for HIV as well as their other health conditions. The White House Office of National AIDS Policy asked the IOM to identify core indicators related to continuous HIV care and access to supportive services, and to monitor the effect of both the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on improving HIV care.
  • Facilitating State Health Exchange Communication Through ... Released: February 14, 2012
    Deductible, co-insurance, out-of-pocket limits. Even to those with a basic understanding of health insurance, terms like these can be difficult to explain and understand. Under the Affordable Care Act of 2010, many more Americans will be eligible for health insurance through state insurance exchanges by 2014. Many of these individuals are among the 90 million American adults who lack basic health literacy. The IOM held a workshop that focused on ways in which health literate communication techniques can improve communication to potential enrollees.
  • Improving Health Literacy Within a State - Workshop Summary ... Released: November 14, 2011
    Nearly half of all American adults lack health literacy – an individual’s ability to obtain, process, and understand basic health information. In order to improve knowledge among these 90 million people, the IOM, along with the UCLA Anderson School of Management, held a workshop on November 30, 2010, to explore ways in which state-based organizations and individuals can work to improve health literacy.
  • Promoting Health Literacy to Encourage Prevention and ... Released: November 01, 2011
    Several studies have found that health literacy – an individual’s ability to understand and retain information to make proper health decisions – makes a difference in how much populations use preventive services. The IOM’s Roundtable on Health Literacy held a workshop to explore approaches to integrate health literacy in to primary and secondary prevention. The workshop featured presentations and discussions on select topics related to health literacy’s role in preventive health care.
  • Health Literacy Implications for Health Care Reform ... Released: July 15, 2011
    Due to low health literacy—the degree to which one can understand and make decisions based on health information—many people may have difficulty understanding what coverage they are eligible for under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; making informed choices about what is best for them and their families; and completing the enrollment process. On November 10, 2010, the IOM Roundtable on Health Literacy held a workshop to explore opportunities to advance health literacy in association with the implementation of health care reform.
  • Leading Health Indicators for Healthy People 2020 - Letter ... Released: March 15, 2011
    For the past three decades, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a national agenda aimed at improving the health of all Americans over each 10-year span. At the request of HHS, the IOM identified a set of leading health indicators that could be used by Healthy People 2020 and developed a conceptual framework within which the topics, indicators, and objectives would be developed or selected.
  • Innovations in Health Literacy Research - Workshop Summary ... Released: March 10, 2011
    Nearly nine out of 10 adults have difficulty using everyday health information to make good health decisions. The IOM Roundtable on Health Literacy held a meeting on May 27, 2010, to explore areas for research in health literacy, the relationship between health literacy and health disparities, and ways to apply information technology to improve health literacy.