Public Health

Public health refers to social, cultural, economic, and geographic conditions that affect a population's well-being. To assist local, national, and international health agencies and organizations, RAND conducts research on public health issues including disaster preparedness and recovery; surveillance, prevention, and management of infectious disease outbreaks; screening for and prevention of chronic diseases; and ways to strengthen the public health infrastructure.

  • Journal Article

    A Spatiotemporal Quantile Regression Model for Emergency Department Expenditures

    The authors develop a spatiotemporal quantile regression model for the analysis of emergency department-related medical expenditures.

    Mar 24, 2015

  • Journal Article

    Gynecologists in the V. A.: Do They Enhance Availability of Sex-Specific Services and Policies in the Emergency Department?

    On-site gynecologist FTE is associated with improved availability of sex-specific care in EDs.

    Mar 24, 2015

  • Woman commuting on a bicycle

    Commentary

    When It Comes to the Value of Wellness, Ask About Fairness, Not Just Effectiveness

    Some hail workplace wellness programs as cost-effective means to better public health. Others question their value. Data show that both have a point.

    Mar 18, 2015

  • Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California

    Commentary

    The Disneyland Measles Outbreak: “Anti-Vaxxers” Aren't the Only Issue

    The recent measles outbreak that began in Disneyland is the latest reminder that Americans have ceded ground in the fight against the potentially deadly disease. So-called “anti-vaxxer” parents have received a lot of attention following the outbreak, but they may comprise less of the population than you think.

    Mar 17, 2015

  • News Release

    New Tool Can Help Identify Nations That May Be Vulnerable to Ebola or Other Public Health Emergencies

    Public health experts can identify nations that are vulnerable to the occurrence and impact of future outbreaks of Ebola or other emergencies by using a screening tool that evaluates a nation's strengths across a wide range of measures such as political strength and health care capabilities.

    Mar 3, 2015

  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

    Essay

    The New Drug Wars

    Modern medicine is built on the promise that antibiotics will clear away the bacteria that made everything from skin infections to surgery potentially lethal just a few generations ago. But drug-resistant strains of disease have spread in recent years.

    Mar 3, 2015

  • Woman comparing soda labels in a supermarket

    Commentary

    Supermarkets Are the Problem

    Thirty percent of all supermarket sales can be attributed to end-of-aisle displays, where retailers have placed more foods that increase the risk of obesity and chronic diseases. Relocating those foods to less conspicuous places would still allow those who want them to get them, but the decision to buy would be deliberate rather than impulsive.

    Feb 26, 2015

  • Journal Article

    Assessing Entrepreneurship in Governmental Public Health

    We assessed the feasibility and desirability of public health entrepreneurship (PHE) in governmental public health.

    Feb 26, 2015

  • Government health workers administering blood tests for the Ebola virus in Kenema, Sierra Leone, June 2014

    Report

    Mitigating the Impact of Ebola in Potential Hot Zones

    The experiences of African countries that successfully contained Ebola early can be informative for government officials, international organizations, and aid agencies seeking to capture the underlying factors that affect countries' resilience to such outbreaks and can help them prepare for high-risk scenarios.

    Feb 23, 2015

  • A health worker demonstrates putting on protective gear in a Red Cross facility in Koidu, Sierra Leone, December 18, 2014

    Report

    Learning While Doing: Applying Lessons Learned During Public Health Emergencies

    Response efforts to the 2014 Ebola outbreak highlighted both strengths and weaknesses. Researchers have created a tool that may help inform and guide ongoing efforts in the midst of similar public health emergencies, rather than after the fact.

    Feb 13, 2015

  • Journal Article

    School-based Program Options to Promote Physical Activity: A Response

    This commentary is a response to PM-14-1065R1 and addresses issues raised regarding research presented in PM-14-443, published in the December 2014 supplement of Preventive Medicine.

    Feb 13, 2015

  • Microscopic view of the Ebola virus

    Report

    Assessing Options for Public Health Emergency Planning and Response

    When public health emergencies arise, policymakers must assess and compare interventions to determine the best way forward. Using Ebola as an example, RAND developed a simple, practical, proof-of-concept tool that may fill gaps in a decisionmaker's ability to systematically assess options in a public health emergency.

    Feb 9, 2015

  • A vendor smokes a cigarette as he waits for customers at a market in Hefei, China, January 9, 2015

    Commentary

    Snuffing Out China's Deadly Habit

    To help address China's smoking problem, China's parliament is considering a ban on all tobacco ads except those at point-of-sale retail locations. How does this compare to the current state of play regarding Chinese tobacco ads? And could the new law shift the tobacco-control landscape?

    Feb 2, 2015

  • Health workers don protective gear before entering an Ebola quarantine zone at a Red Cross facility in Koidu, Sierra Leone, December 19, 2014

    Commentary

    What Have We Learned from the Ebola Outbreak?

    For much of 2014, the world has confronted the most deadly Ebola outbreak since the discovery of the disease in 1976. What lessons have emerged? What should the world do to better prepare for transnational outbreaks?

    Dec 31, 2014

  • European Antibiotic Awareness Day campaign poster for National Health Service

    Project

    Advising the Development of Public Health Guidelines to Delay Antimicrobial Resistance

    RAND Europe is reviewing the evidence of effectiveness, cost effectiveness, and related qualitative evidence relating to changing risk-related behaviours pertaining to antimicrobial use to inform the development of Department of Health/NICE guidelines aimed at delaying antimicrobial resistance.

    Dec 18, 2014

  • Syringe and vaccine medicine

    Report

    The Economic Costs of Antimicrobial Resistance

    More and more bacterial and viral infections are resistant to antimicrobial drugs. But no new classes of antibiotics have entered the market for more than 25 years. Researchers estimate that failing to address this issue will mean a lower world population in 2050 than expected and at least $2 trillion in lost global GDP.

    Dec 10, 2014

  • Participants practice a medical procedure on a dummy arm during training for the Ebola response team at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, October 24, 2014

    Commentary

    Ebola Shows America Needs Better Disaster Preparedness

    Crafting an effective, whole-community strategy to respond to Ebola could stop the spread of the disease now and lay groundwork for responses to future outbreaks and other emergencies. In the long run, this could make public preparedness and resilience valuable assets for the U.S.

    Nov 7, 2014

  • News Release

    Making It More Difficult to Sue Physicians for Malpractice May Not Reduce 'Defensive Medicine'

    Malpractice reform has been advocated by many experts as a key to reining in health care costs. Three states raised the standard for malpractice in the emergency room to gross negligence, but that did not translate into less-expensive care.

    Oct 15, 2014

  • U.S. Army soldiers, earmarked for the fight against Ebola, put on protective suits during training before their deployment to West Africa, October 9, 2014

    Commentary

    Declaring War on Ebola

    Operation United Assistance, which includes the deployment of 3,000 U.S. military personnel to West Africa to respond to the Ebola crisis, is a welcome recognition of the range of missions the military is increasingly able to tackle, particularly in disaster-management assistance.

    Oct 10, 2014

  • A burial team wearing protective clothing prepares to enter the home a person suspected of having died from Ebola in Freetown, Sierra Leone, September 28, 2014

    Commentary

    Ebola Outbreak: Putting the Public Back in Public Health

    Medical and public health systems are crucial to controlling the transmission of Ebola and treating patients. But the public's role in becoming aware and engaged, both in West Africa and the United States, cannot be overstated.

    Oct 9, 2014

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