Q&A with Laishy Williams-Carlson, Part 1: “What fills my cup is being integrated with operations.”

By | July 22, 2021

Laishy Williams-Carlson, CIO, Roper St. Francis Healthcare

With any major project, establishing guiding principles is an absolutely critical step, but it’s one that doesn’t come without a healthy dose of dissidence. In fact, Laishy Williams-Carlson believes “there are some things you should argue about,” especially with a major EHR rollout. For CIOs, what’s most important is being able to establish a consensus, even where there is disagreement, and use those principles “as your north star.”

During a recent interview, Williams-Carlson talked about the Epic project she’s taking on in her new role as CIO at Roper St. Francis, and how she hopes to leverage some of the many lessons learned during the pandemic to ensure a (relatively) smooth implementation. She also talks about how she has navigated the transition from Bon Secours Mercy to Roper St. Francis — a move she made “with eyes wide open,” the difficult balance leaders face in sticking to a proven formula while also remaining “tried and true,” and how her thoughts on work-life balance have evolved.

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Key Takeaways

  • Although Laishy Williams-Carlson is new to Roper St. Francis, she’s no stranger to the organization, having done some consulting during her previous role as CIO at Bon Secours Mercy. “I went into it with my eyes wide open.”
  • In her first major initiative at Roper, Williams-Carlson is guiding the organization through an implementation of Bon Secours Mercy’s Epic instance, which entails creating a timeline and establishing governance.
  • The biggest challenge in being a physician-led organization? “It can feel a little bit like getting pulled in a lot of directions.”
  • Rolling out an EHR doesn’t have to feel like reinventing the wheel; in fact, if you’re doing it right, it shouldn’t. “You want to get that right blend of avoiding tinkering just for the sake of tinkering but also making it your own.”
  • One of her key goals as CIO at Roper St. Francis is to “elevate the reputation of the team and frankly the performance of the team.”
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