ePatient 2021 - Emerging and Converging IT Solutions Aimed at Addressing SDOH

February 25 @ 3:10 pm

SDoH risks such as food insecurity and homelessness have been identified nationally as major contributors to deterioration of health and increased morbidity and mortality. CMS in 2019 has introduced changes in Medicare Advantage for SDoH which is estimated to cover 22.6 million lives. Coverage will continue to expand in 2021 addressing a broader scope of SDoH. Federal funding has been made available to expand health care IT support by improving information exchange through interoperability between EMRs, exchanges, patient facing applications, registries and regulatory agencies in order to support the documentation and communication of SDoH concerns, related assessments, plans, goals, interventions and outcomes. The interplay and coordination between interoperability standards, vendor applications, clinical content, CDS and reporting/analytics is critical in order to improve continuity of care and ensure successful, effective care delivery. This panel will discuss highlights with respect to progress and challenges in each of these areas.


Thomas Erlinger, MD, MPH

Vice President, Clinical Analytics, Elsevier

Dr. Thomas (Tate) Erlinger completed training in Internal Medicine at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and an NIH-funded 3-year fellowship in Clinical Research at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. In addition, he completed a Masters in Public Health (MPH) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Erlinger has conducted clinical epidemiologic and population health research and authored or co-authored dozens of peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Erlinger also served as the State Epidemiologist for Texas most recently ran analytics and informatics departments and nationally at Ascension. Currently, Dr. Erlinger serves as the global lead for provider analytics at Elsevier.

Sarah DeSilvey, RN

Director of Clinical Informatics, The Gravity Project
Rural Family Nurse Practitioner Quality Consultant

Sarah C. DeSilvey, DNP, FNP balances practice as a rural family nurse practitioner with advocacy for addressing the social determinants of health in clinical and community practice. Her area of focus is developing the terminology to capture the process of caring for patients’ social needs. Her work has now evolved into The Gravity Project – a national consensus initiative to develop terminology to address social needs. She serves as the Director of Clinical Informatics helping to weave the practice of social care, community-based approaches, and the literature of social risk into health care terminology.

Tonya Hongsermeier, MD

VP and Chief Medical Information Officer
Lahey Health

Dr. Hongsermeier currently serves as Vice President and Chief Medical Informatics Officer on the IT@Lahey team at Beth Israel Lahey Health. She studied medicine at Boston University and trained in Internal Medicine at the New England Deaconess Hospital. In the course of medical practice, she realized the challenges presented by the “managed care” movement to patient care. She obtained an MBA from BU’s School of Management to better understand how to bridge the caregivers and the accountants in healthcare. After graduating, she served in a variety of positions in industry ultimately finding her way into technology as a backbone for a learning, continuously improving, patient-centered, digital healthcare system. Her prior positions in informatics include senior roles at InterQual, Cerner Corporation and Partners Healthcare. There she led the development of a renowned Clinical Decision Support and Knowledge Management team within the Clinical Informatics Research and Development Group and implemented a variety of leading-edge tools and governance structures to improve the embedding of clinical knowledge in electronic health records and, thereby, the utilization of evidence-based practices by Partners caregivers. Her team implemented a collaboration and content management platform before there was Facebook. She served as a Team Lead on the government-funded Clinical Decision Support Consortium, Advancing Clinical Decision Support research project and Health eDecisions Initiative. She also served as the inaugural co-chair for the Semantic Web Healthcare-Life Sciences Special Interest Group for the World Wide Web Consortium under Tim Berners-Lee which is a foundation for deep-learning architectures in medicine. Her focus remains on ensuring that our caregivers and patients have access to the best data, knowledge, tools and wisdom for achieving health and wellness.

James Shalaby, PharmD  (Moderator)

Elimu Informatics, Inc.

James is currently the founder and CEO of Elimu Informatics. He is currently the senior consulting informaticist on the AMA IHMI program working on the Gravity SDOH project. He has led a large number of efforts over the past 24 years in interoperability and standards across core clinical domains such as medications, problems, referral workflows, transition care management and decision support. Prior to starting his company in 2005 he served as the director of the Convergent Medical Terminology team at Kaiser Permanente as well as a long history of working for several large content and EMR vendors.