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.


  • The Role of Obesity in Cancer Survival and Recurrence ... Released: April 03, 2012
    Recent research suggests that obesity and excess weight can influence cancer survival and recurrence. Given the increasing rate of obesity and an aging population more susceptible to cancer, there is mounting concern about obesity’s role in fueling tumor growth. At an IOM workshop, experts presented the latest evidence on the obesity-cancer link and the possible mechanisms underlying that link, as well as potential interventions to mitigate the effects of obesity on cancer, and research and policy measures needed to counter the expected rise of cancer incidence and mortality due to an increasingly overweight and older population.
  • Crisis Standards of Care: A Systems Framework for ... Released: March 21, 2012
    Disasters can stress health care systems to the breaking point and disrupt delivery of vital medical services. Following its 2009 report, which defined crisis standards of care (CSC), the IOM develops important templates to guide the efforts of professionals and organizations responsible for CSC planning and implementation. The latest report provides a foundation of underlying principles, steps needed to achieve implementation, and the pillars of the emergency response system, each separate and yet together upholding the jurisdictions that have the overarching authority for ensuring that CSC planning and response occurs.
  • Allied Health Workforce and Services - Workshop Summary ... Released: December 08, 2011
    The demand for health care is growing as the nation ages and seeks to provide coverage for the millions of Americans who lack health insurance. At the same time, escalating costs have led to a variety of initiatives to make the delivery of health care more effective and efficient. The allied health workforce is critical to the success of these efforts. The IOM held a workshop May 9-10, 2011, to examine the current allied health care workforce and consider how it can contribute to improving health care access, quality, and effectiveness.
  • Health IT and Patient Safety: Building Safer Systems for Better ... Released: November 08, 2011
    Health IT is designed to help improve the performance of health professionals, reduce costs, and enhance patient safety. However, poorly designed health IT can create new hazards in the already complex delivery of care. In the wake of more widespread use of health IT, the Department of Health and Human Services asked the IOM to evaluate safety concerns and recommend ways to make patient care safer using health IT. The IOM makes recommendations to improve transparency in the reporting of health IT safety incidents and enhance monitoring of health IT products, both of which can lead to improved care.
  • Facilitating Collaborations to Develop Combination ... Released: October 31, 2011
    Advances in biomedical research have increased our understanding of the complex nature of disease and the interaction of multiple molecular pathways involved in cancer. Combining investigational products early in their development is thought to be a promising strategy for identifying effective therapies. The IOM’s National Cancer Policy Forum held a workshop to discuss challenges and identify potential solutions to improve collaboration and advance the development of combination investigational cancer therapies.
  • The Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Lecture 2011: New ... Released: October 05, 2011
    More than 10 years ago, the IOM released its landmark report on patient safety, To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System. The 2011 Rosenthal Lecture featured the Honorable Kathleen G. Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, who presented the new steps that HHS is taking to improve patient safety. A panel of leaders in patient safety followed to discuss patient safety progress and opportunities.
  • Patients Charting the Course: Citizen Engagement in the ... Released: October 03, 2011
    As past, current, or future patients, the public should be the health care system’s unwavering focus and serve as change agents in its care. Taking this into account, the quality of health care should be judged not only by whether clinical decisions are informed by the best available scientific evidence, but also by whether care is tailored to a patient’s individual needs and perspectives. However, too often it is provider preference and convenience, rather than those of the patient, that drive what care is delivered. As part of its Learning Health System series of workshops, the Roundtable on Value & Science-Driven Health Care hosted a workshop to assess the prospects for improving health and lowering costs by advancing patient involvement in the elements of a learning health system.
  • Geographic Adjustment in Medicare Payment: Phase I ... Released: September 28, 2011
    Medicare is the largest health insurer in the United States, providing coverage for 39 million people aged 65 and older and 8 million people with disabilities. Although Medicare is a national program, it adjusts fee-for-service payments according to the geographic location of a practice. At the request of Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services, the IOM examined ways to improve the accuracy of data sources and methods used for making the geographic adjustments in payments to providers. The IOM recommends an integrated approach that includes moving to a single source of wage and benefits data; changing to one set of payment areas and labor markets; and expanding the range of occupations included in the index calculations.
  • Occupational Health Nurses and Respiratory Protection ... Released: August 02, 2011
    Occupational health nurses (OHNs) are front-line advocates for preventing illness and injury and protecting health in a variety of workplace settings, including the areas of agriculture, construction, health care, manufacturing, and public safety. OHNs need education and training in respiratory protection in order to ensure both their safety and the safety of America’s workers. At the request of the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the IOM examined existing respiratory protection curricula and made recommendations to improve education and training in respiratory protection for OHNs. The IOM finds that current respiratory protection education receives varying amounts of dedicated time and resources and is taught using a variety of approaches. Several recommendations are made to improve the respiratory protection education and training of OHNs.
  • Learning What Works: Infrastructure Required for Comparative ... Released: July 25, 2011
    It is essential for patients and clinicians to know which treatments work best for whom if they are to make informed, collaborative care decisions. Despite this need, only a small fraction of health-related expenditures in the U.S. have been devoted to comparative effectiveness research. As part of its Learning Health System series of workshops, the IOM’s Roundtable on Value & Science-Driven Health Care hosted a workshop to discuss capacity priorities to build the evidence base necessary for care that is more effective and delivers higher value for patients.