Factoring health and related costs into decision making is essential to confronting the nation's health problems and enhancing public well-being. Some policies and programs historically not recognized as relating to health are believed or known to have important health consequences. For example, public health has been linked to an array of policies that determine the quality and location of housing, availability of public transportation, land use and street connectivity, agricultural practices and the availability of various types of food, and development and location of businesses and industry.
Improving Health in the United States: The Role of Health Impact Assessment offers guidance to officials in the public and private sectors on conducting HIAs to evaluate public health consequences of proposed decisions—such as those to build a major roadway, plan a city's growth, or develop national agricultural policies—and suggests actions that could minimize adverse health impacts and optimize beneficial ones.
Several approaches could be used to incorporate aspects of health into decision making, but HIA holds particular promise because of its applicability to a broad array of programs, consideration of both adverse and beneficial health effects, ability to consider and incorporate various types of evidence, and engagement of communities and stakeholders in a deliberative process. The report notes that HIA should not be assumed to be the best approach to every health policy question but rather should be seen as part of a spectrum of public health and policy-oriented approaches.
The report presents a six-step framework for conducting HIA of proposed policies, programs, plans, and projects at federal, state, tribal, and local levels, including within the private sector. In addition, the report identifies several challenges to the successful use of HIA, such as balancing the need to provide timely information with the realities of varying data quality, producing quantitative estimates of health effects, and engaging stakeholders.
National Research Council. 2011. Improving Health in the United States: The Role of Health Impact Assessment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/13229.
|Improving Health in the United States: The Role of Health Impact Assessment
|2 Why We Need Health-Informed Policies and Decision-Making
|3 Elements of a Health Impact Assessment
|4 Current Issues and Challenges in the Development and Practice of Health Impact Assessment
|5 Structures and Policies for Promoting Health Impact Assessment
|Appendix A: Experiences with Health Impact Assessment
|Appendix B: Biographic Information on the Committee on Health Impact Assessment
|Appendix C: Statement of Task of the Committee on Health Impact Assessment
|Appendix D: Glossary
|Appendix E: Summary of Health Impact Assessment Guides
|Appendix F: Analysis of Health Effects under the National Environmental Policy Act
The Chapter Skim search tool presents what we've algorithmically identified as the most significant single chunk of text within every page in the chapter. You may select key terms to highlight them within pages of each chapter.
The National Academies Press (NAP) has partnered with Copyright Clearance Center's Marketplace service to offer you a variety of options for reusing NAP content. Through Marketplace, you may request permission to reprint NAP content in another publication, course pack, secure website, or other media. Marketplace allows you to instantly obtain permission, pay related fees, and print a license directly from the NAP website. The complete terms and conditions of your reuse license can be found in the license agreement that will be made available to you during the online order process. To request permission through Marketplace you are required to create an account by filling out a simple online form. The following list describes license reuses offered by the NAP through Marketplace:
Click here to obtain permission for the above reuses. If you have questions or comments concerning the Marketplace service, please contact:
US Toll Free +1.855.239.3415
To request permission to distribute a PDF, please contact our Customer Service Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.