Ascension, which bills itself as the nation’s largest nonprofit health system and world’s largest Catholic health system, has hired Eduardo Conrado for the newly created position of executive vice president and chief digital officer.

A big health system has filled its opening for its first chief digital officer.

Ascension, which bills itself as the nation’s largest nonprofit health system and world’s largest Catholic health system, has hired Eduardo Conrado for the newly created position of executive vice president and chief digital officer. Conrado has served on the Ascension board of directors since 2014, but comes to the health system from outside of healthcare technology.

Conrado, who starts at Ascension on Sept. 1, comes to the health system from Motorola Solutions Inc. where he worked as chief strategy and innovation officer. Previously, he also worked as senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Motorola Solutions.

“New technologies and companies are disrupting the market at an ever-faster pace, and leaders are beginning to fully embrace digital solutions to unlock innovation and drive productivity, connectivity and engagement,” says Ascension CEO Anthony Tersigni. “As chief digital officer, Eduardo will help accelerate the implementation of digital initiatives, transforming the core of our healthcare operations to optimize resilience while also creating new, transformational models that extend our reach.”

Eduardo Conrado

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At Ascension, Conrado will be in charge of “driving the digital strategy, business transformation and operational change that will enable Ascension to accelerate the impact that it intends to achieve,” the health system says. Ascension has a growing—and national—digital healthcare program.

In June, Ascension, which operates 153 hospitals in 22 states and the District of Columbia, announced that online appointment scheduling is available in all of the markets it serves. To date, more than 1,200 providers offering primary care, urgent care and emergency department care are aligned with online scheduling capabilities. Plans to expand online scheduling options to specialty care and diagnostic and imaging services are underway, Ascension says.

About 20,000 Ascension patients are now making appointments online each month, the system says.  Ascension is launching a national advertising campaign using television, radio, billboards and direct-mail ads to get the word out. “Providing an easy way to immediately schedule appointments strengthens consumer relationships and differentiates our brand,” says Ascension chief marketing officer Nick Ragone.

Each year Ascension conducts 24.5 million outpatient visits, 12.1 million physician office visits, 3.1 million emergency room visits and 1.4 million urgent care visits.

Ascension also was an early adopter of telemedicine when it rolled out a service with telehealth services provider American Well in 2010.

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