Ascension launches subsidiary to boost hospitals' automation efforts

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St. Louis-based Ascension's shared services subsidiary Ministry Service Center in Indianapolis is launching a company called Agilify to help healthcare organizations advance intelligent process automation.

Intelligent process automation is software that can take on labor-intensive, repetitive tasks to help save employees time, while simultaneously fostering operational efficiencies and cost savings. The field is expected to become a $2.4 billion market by 2021.

The new enterprise has reported early successes. Recently, Agilify helped implement the first machine learning production system at Ascension.

"After more than a year of successful market testing and seeing growing demand, it became increasingly clear that other businesses and industries would benefit from all that the Ascension Ministry Service Center has learned about process automation," said Ascension President and CEO Anthony Tersigni, EdD. "By creating Agilify, Ascension is positioned to meet this growing need, and the financial success of Agilify will support our mission of providing healthcare to all, especially those who are poor and vulnerable."

Ascension has been testing these new technologies the last six years, and Agilify leadership has learned a lot about  business process, robotic process and software process automation training, consulting and technology selection. Since Ministry Service Center began piloting the automation tools, it has reduced its costs 10 percent year-over-year for more than five years.

Agilify has forged a number of partnerships that help it offer consulting, implementation and learning services as well as what it calls its Collaboratory, which provides technology assessments and its solutions division, which offers additional services and supplies.  

"Our team has blazed trails over the past few years, and we've led some of the world's most reputable organizations through workforce transformations via automation," Lee Coulter, CEO of Ministry Service Center. "Now we'll be doing that under the banner of Agilify — delivering business agility via faster deployment and instant scalability and at entry costs that are lower than traditional information technology solutions."

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