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Publications from the AffiliateMarketIngtools of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provide objective and straightforward advice to decision makers and the public. This site includes We Treat You (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.


  • Released: October 25, 2011
    Measuring the social and economic costs of violence can be difficult, and most estimates only consider direct economic effects, such as productivity loss or the use of health care services. Communities and societies feel the effects of violence through loss of social cohesion, financial divestment, and the increased burden on the health care and justice systems. Initial estimates show that early violence prevention intervention has economic benefits. The IOM Forum on Global Violence Prevention held a workshop to examine the successes and challenges of calculating direct and indirect costs of violence, as well as the potential cost-effectiveness of intervention.
  • Released: October 20, 2011
    Although nutrition rating systems and symbols on food packages intend to help consumers make healthy decisions, the wide variety of systems that are on products today often lead consumers to become confused about what they mean instead of giving them the intended healthy dietary guidance. Congress directed the CDC to undertake a study with the IOM with additional support provided by the FDA and the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion in the USDA. The report concludes that it is time for a fundamental shift in strategy, a move away from complex or confusing FOP systems that do not give clear guidance about the healthfulness of a food or beverage and toward one that encourages healthier choices through simplicity, visual clarity, and the ability to convey meaning without written information. The report recommends a simple FOP nutrition rating system that shows calories in household measures and points for the healthfulness of the product, enabling shoppers to instantly recognize healthier products by their number of points and calorie information.
  • Released: October 14, 2011
    Clinical trials provide essential information needed to turn basic medical research findings into patient treatments. New treatments must be studied in large numbers of humans to find out whether they are effective and to assess any harm that may arise from treatment. There is growing recognition among many stakeholders that the U.S. clinical trials enterprise is unable to keep pace with the national demand for research results. The IOM, along with the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, held a workshop June 27-28, 2011, to engage stakeholders and experts in a discussion about possible solutions to improve public engagement in clinical trials.
  • Released: October 11, 2011
    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) may affect 10 million people worldwide. It is considered the “signature wound” of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. These injuries result from a bump or blow to the head, or from external forces that cause the brain to move within the head, such as whiplash or exposure to blasts. TBI can cause an array of physical and mental health concerns and is a growing problem, particularly among soldiers and veterans because of repeated exposure to violent environments. One form of treatment for TBI is cognitive rehabilitation therapy (CRT), a patient-specific, goal-oriented approach to help patients increase their ability to process and interpret information. The Department of Defense asked the IOM to conduct a study to determine the effectiveness of CRT for treatment of TBI.
  • Released: October 06, 2011
    The Department of Health and Human Services requested that the IOM recommend criteria and methods for determining and updating the essential health benefits (EHB) that, as specified in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, will be included in certain health insurance plans for individuals and small businesses beginning in 2014. The task of the IOM was not to decide what is covered in the EHB, but rather to propose a set of criteria and methods that should be used in deciding what benefits are most important for coverage. The committee saw its primary task as finding the right balance between making a breadth of coverage available for individuals at a cost they could afford. This balance will help ensure that an estimated 68 million people will have access to care covered by the EHB.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Released: September 30, 2011
    If terrorists released Bacillus anthracis over a large city, hundreds of thousands of people could be at risk of the deadly disease anthrax – caused by the B anthracis spores – unless they had rapid access to antibiotic medical countermeasures (MCM). Although plans for rapidly delivering MCM to a large number of people following an anthrax attack have been enhanced over the last decade, many public health authorities and policy experts fear that the nation’s current systems and plans are insufficient to respond to the most challenging scenarios, such as a very large-scale anthrax attack. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, commissioned the IOM to examine the potential uses, benefits, and disadvantages of strategies for prepositioning antibiotics. This involves storing antibiotics close to or in the possession of the people who would need rapid access to them should an attack occur. The IOM defined and evaluated three categories of prepositioning strategies that could complement existing, centralized stockpiling strategies, including the Strategic National Stockpile maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Released: September 30, 2011
    Each year in the United States, more than 4,000 occupational fatalities and more than 3 million occupational injuries occur along with more than 160,000 cases of occupational illnesses. Incorporating patients’ occupational information into electronic health records (EHRs) could lead to more informed clinical diagnosis and treatment plans as well as more effective policies, interventions, and prevention strategies to improve the overall health of the working population. At the request of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the IOM appointed a committee to examine the rationale and feasibility of incorporating occupational information in patients’ EHRs. The IOM concluded that three data elements – occupation, industry, and work-relatedness – were ready for immediate focus, and made recommendations on moving forward efforts to incorporate these elements into EHRs.
  • Released: September 29, 2011
    Because of continuing uncertainty about the long-term health effects of the sprayed herbicides on Vietnam veterans, Congress passed the Agent Orange Act of 1991. The legislation directed the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to request the IOM to perform a comprehensive evaluation of scientific and medical information regarding the health effects of exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides used in Vietnam to be followed by biennial updates. The 2010 update recommends further research of links between Vietnam service and specific health outcomes, most importantly COPD, tonsil cancer, melanoma, brain cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and paternally transmitted effects to offspring. The only modification made in this update to disease entries in the categories of association is the notation that early-onset peripheral neuropathy (a condition which has been recognized since Update 1996 as having limited or suggestive evidence of an association with herbicide exposure and must have developed within a year of exposure) is not necessarily transitory.
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