Q&A with Alego Health’s Jonathan Levoy

The healthcare industry is currently besieged by a variety of information technology challenges.  HIMSSwire recently interviewed Jonathan Levoy, VP of Business Development & Technology at Alego Health, a healthcare information technology consulting firm in Westlake, Ohio, to get his take on how health care providers can not only get through it all – but fully optimize IT to help their organizations deliver better care to patients.

HIMSSwire: What are the major IT implementation challenges facing providers today?

Jonathan Levoy: Health care providers are likely to have more on their IT plate now than ever before. To start, many healthcare provider organizations are zeroing in on meeting Meaningful Use requirements, while still keeping a focus on patient care. This is requiring organizations to not only implement but also optimize their electronic health records systems. Working toward these goals definitely presents great challenges. The fact that leaders have to move their IT initiatives forward as the cost of technology rises simply makes the challenge a more robust one. Add in looming ICD-10 deadlines and it’s easy to understand why healthcare organizations are having a difficult time.

HIMSSwire: As healthcare providers strive to meet all of these challenges, how can they also address the mobility needs of both clinicians and consumers?

Jonathan Levoy: Mobility is the next big wave in health. Mobile applications provide clinicians with the ability to operate more efficiently and with greater precision.  Consumers also want the at-your-fingertips advantages associated accessing health information and applications on mobile devices.  Leaders at healthcare organizations need to truly educate themselves and understand what mHealth can do for clinicians and patients while they are at the hospital – and also what it can do in the “outside world.”

Perhaps most important, provider organizations need to forge ahead and enter into this mHealth world even as many questions remain.  For example, providers need to embrace mHealth, even though questions regarding reimbursement still prevail. In addition, providers need to keep moving toward mHealth as government regulations and policies are still in their infancy. That’s not saying that these policies should not be put on the fast track – indeed, they should.  What needs to happen from my perspective is that the government needs to be more knowledgeable about how these technologies are being utilized, and conversely the developers of these technologies need to work more closely with government regulators to open doors for the adoption of these technologies to happen quicker.

HIMSSwire: Can you describe the Alego’s philosophy information technology project implementation philosophy?

Jonathan Levoy: This is, indeed, an era of many competing IT initiatives. That’s why we always remind ourselves and our healthcare organization clients why we are in this business in the first place: The patients. As an IT consulting firm, we continually strive to help healthcare organizations put the focus back where it should be: On the patient.  As such, even when healthcare leaders and staff are working on a variety of IT projects, the patient stays at the forefront.  All too often, healthcare organization staff get so wrapped up in various initiatives, they lose sight of their reason for being – the all-important patient. 

To stay so patient centered, we only use qualified clinical staff on our implementation teams. Our teams speak the language of healthcare while translating their support on the technical aspects of the products they are supporting. The end result: Better implementation outcomes and higher patient satisfaction scores for our clients.

HIMSSwire: In addition to your patient-centered approach, what does Alego bring to the table that makes it possible for organizations to succeed?

Jonathan Levoy: We believe in total transparency. As such, everyone involved in a project knows what is going on and can keep the project moving forward. This is so important in this era of multiple deadlines associated with projects such as Meaningful Use attestation and ICD-10 conversion.

We’ve even created a mobile app that keeps everyone on the same page. The Alego Health App provides real-time feedback, communication and document storage capabilities to everyone involved in an implementation project. This makes it possible for hospital leaders and staff to keep close real-time tabs on: how the project is progressing and what issues are being dealt with.  The app also enables hospital personnel to communicate directly with Alego staff and update information.