Elizabeth Delahoussaye uses her experiences from UL Lafayette’s health information management program to lead privacy and compliance at a leading health technology company focused on connecting healthcare decision-makers to the data and insights contained in medical records.
Elizabeth is the chief privacy officer at Ciox Health, which partners with three out of every five U.S. hospitals and 120-plus health plans. Her job is to ensure that all federal and state regulations are followed when releasing medical information to patients, health care providers, insurance companies, government agencies, and law firms.
Finding Her Fit in the Health Information Management Major
Originally from Knoxville, Tenn., Elizabeth started her college career majoring in pre-law at the University of Tennessee. After getting married and moving to Lafayette, she decided to enroll at UL Lafayette. As she studied the list of programs, her interest in law led her to a new field.
“I was looking through all these degrees, thinking, ‘OK, what am I interested in?’” she recalled. “At the time, it (health information management) was called a record administrator, and I remember it talking about medical records law with the regulations. And that’s how I ended up applying to the health information management program.”
For Elizabeth, the experiences she had in her courses were just as valuable as those outside the classroom.
“It’s not always what’s in your coursework,” she said. “Your coursework is a great foundation, but it’s also what the professors bring to it. It’s not just, ‘Here’s your book and you’re gonna learn.’ It’s, ‘Hey, let’s use a lot of real-world scenarios to learn,’ and that was extremely beneficial.”
Elizabeth honed her leadership skills as Health Information Management Association president. That role gave her the opportunity to work more closely with her instructors, who quickly became mentors.
“I think they were fantastic in mentoring us in how to handle certain issues like conflict, resolution, and business decisions,” Elizabeth said. “I would have to go into their office as the rep for the students and have discussions about conflicts. They were really great at walking me through how to address a conflict, what’s a compromise, how to go about getting a resolution.
“There were many, many times I have utilized tips from that. I probably pulled them out of my back pocket yesterday.”
A Leader in Health Information Management
After she graduated, Elizabeth earned her Registered Health Information Administrator certification and took her first job at a medical records copy service for the hospital at UT Knoxville.
Elizabeth’s career trajectory took off after that. She also earned her Certified in Healthcare Privacy and Security (CHPS) credential. She received promotions and climbed the ladder through company mergers and acquisitions. She was a district manager, site supervisor, and vice president, and now chief privacy officer — a role she’s had since 2016.
Her background in health information management combined with her interest in law and technology prepared her for this career.
“The incorporation of technology (in medicine) has solidified my career trajectory,” she said.
“Because of all these changes, they needed the subject matter experts to oversee it. And that’s how my health information management degree was such a huge asset."
“We had such a wide variety of coding and abstracting courses, but also the … medical records law course, and there was an analytics course,” she said. “Those courses gave me some great tools when I went into this career path.
“Having the health information management knowledge was awesome because not only did I know how privacy worked, I also knew how medical records work. Sometimes privacy law says this, and medical records say that, and I knew how to make them work to be in compliance with the regulations.”
A Love of UL Lafayette
The University’s size, combined with the personal attention she received in the health information management program, made Elizabeth’s experience valuable.
“A lot of people don’t realize the size of the school because everybody is so close,” she said. “I don’t know if that’s because the HIM program is so close and you feel like a part of that family, but I never remembered being in a huge classroom or auditorium.
"My professors always knew who I was. It is a large campus and there is a large set of students, but you never feel like it’s too much.”
Though she’s lived in Knoxville for most of her career, Elizabeth remembers her time in Lafayette fondly.
“Even though I’m not homegrown from Louisiana, it is very near and dear to my heart,” she said. “It was an immense pleasure and I am very proud to say I graduated from there.”