Douglas Thompson is the new president of Agilify, an Ascension subsidiary that aims to help other organizations automate administrative tasks.

Thompson, whose career began in sales and marketing over an eight-year tenure at Xerox, has been president, CEO, chief operating officer, a board member and board chairman of four technology firms. Most recently, he was the CEO of revenue-cycle management company MedData.

Agilify looks to replace labor-intensive, repetitive tasks with software automation for companies across all industries. The software offers a single platform that streamlines processes related to billing, finances, human resources, logistics, patient services and other sectors.

Ascension, which is Agilify’s largest customer, has been using the technology for more than six years. The relatively new revenue stream aims to capitalize on what is projected to be a $2.4 billion process-automation market by 2021.

Ascension, the largest not-for-profit health system in the country, has been incrementally growing its subsidiary portfolio as it shifts its focus from hospital operations. Its ancillary businesses—ranging from group purchasing, revenue-cycle management, drug manufacturing and venture capital to leadership consulting—brought in about $150 million in revenue last year, according to the company. Meanwhile, St. Louis-based Ascension is shedding hospitals in areas where it does not have significant market share, much like other health systems.

Providers have struggled to replace tedious manual tasks related to hiring, billing and contracting. The healthcare industry has lagged behind other industries that have optimized these processes.

Disorganization and administrative burden can compromise care quality and cost health systems precious time and resources as well as hefty penalties if they don’t keep adequate records.

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