Kevin Volpp: One other area I want to ask you about is related to tools, specifically technology and digital health. You’ve done a lot of work in that space, and I’m curious what you see as particularly promising ways to leverage technology and digital health, and traditional public health programs and strategies.
Karen DeSalvo: The challenge that we’re going to face, and some of the work, particularly as you’re interfacing with public health and social services agencies, is [that] they are not digitized. As much work as we did as a country in the last decade to create a clinical record that’s electronic, and that’s giving us much better insights into the clinical care experience gap and care opportunities for patients, we’re going to have a lot of work to do as a country to get the partners all digitized.
What’s been emerging in this space is probably three things that I see happening. One is that electronic health records systems are starting to build out tools that their clients in the health care world can use to connect with or help digitize the social services partners. Some of this was spurred by the Accountable Health Communities model, some of it by the various Medicaid models, and some even [by] the private sector across the country. It’s a health care focus pushing out with a new digital tool that creates essentially a portal for your social services partners, and you can have some bidirectional communication and start to build data there. …..more