Authors

Dr. Karen B. DeSalvo

Portrait of Dr. Karen B. DeSalvo

Dr. Karen DeSalvo is a physician who has served as a leader through her 20-year career toward improving access to affordable, high quality care for all people with a focus on vulnerable populations through her direct care, medical education and administrative roles. Before coming to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, she was the New Orleans Health Commissioner and New Orleans Mayor Mitchell Landrieu’s Senior Health Policy Advisor.

Before joining the Mayor’s administration, Dr. DeSalvo was a professor of medicine and vice dean for community affairs and health policy at Tulane University School of Medicine.

Following Hurricane Katrina, she created an innovative model of neighborhood-based primary care and mental health services for low-income, uninsured and other vulnerable individuals, and was the founder and president of 504HealthNet, a consortium of safety net providers in the New Orleans region.

Dr. DeSalvo served as president of the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum and the National Association of Chiefs of General Internal Medicine. She has served on the boards of the National Association of County and City Health Officials and the Society of General Internal Medicine.

Dr. DeSalvo was recognized as one of “Women of Excellence in Health Care” by the Louisiana Legislative Women’s Caucus and named a “Children’s Hero” by the Children’s Bureau of New Orleans and Family Service of New Orleans named her as one of their Ten Outstanding Persons. In 2013, Governing Magazine named Dr. DeSalvo one of nine Public Officials of the Year.

She earned her Medical Doctorate and Master’s in Public Health from Tulane University, and Master’s in Clinical Epidemiology from Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Karen B. DeSalvo's Latest Blog Posts

Spotlighting Our Legislative Proposals to Better Foster the Flow of Health Information

Dr. Karen B. DeSalvo | May 16, 2016

We have witnessed dramatic changes in the adoption and use of health information technology (health IT) over the past decade. The nation has transformed from paper-based record keeping into an environment where nearly all of the nation’s hospitals and three-quarters of the nation’s eligible providers are using certified health IT. And from accessible electronic health records to wearable fitness devices and health trackers on smart phones, health IT gives each individual the tools to actively manage their health like never before

Read Full Post.

Moving Toward Improved Care Through Information

Dr. Karen B. DeSalvo | April 27, 2016

Seven years ago, Congress passed a law to spur the country to digitize the health care experience for Americans and connect doctor’s practices and hospitals, thereby modernizing patient care through the Electronic Health Records (EHRs) Incentive Programs, also known as “Meaningful Use.” Before this shift began, many providers did not have the capital to invest in health information technology and patient information was siloed in paper records.  Since then, we have made incredible progress, with nearly all hospitals and three-quarters of doctors using EHRs.

Read Full Post.

Investing in the Future: New Market-Ready, User-Friendly Health Technology App and Infrastructure Support

Dr. Karen B. DeSalvo | March 1, 2016

As a health care consumer, imagine if you were able to choose a software application (app) to create a secure snapshot of your health information, like pictures that extend over the course of your lifetime. Similarly, imagine as a health care provider if you could find apps uniquely tailored to your specialty or role on the care team and that provide the health information you need in a way that is safe, secure, intuitive, and actionable.

Read Full Post.

When and Where You Need It Most: Your Rights to Access and Transmit Your Health Information

Dr. Karen B. DeSalvo | January 11, 2016

In order to effectively manage their health, individuals need to be able to access and use their health information when, where, and how they want, including sending it to the people and tools helping them become or stay healthy – neighbors, friends, relatives, health care providers who are treating or consulting with the individual, or even third-party software tools used for self-management. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) governs the privacy of individuals’ protected health information (PHI) and when and how that information can be shared.

Read Full Post.