Best Hospital IT 2016: As it goes live with a new EMR, Roper St. Francis Healthcare is ready to tackle new projects

New bolt-on 'niche functionality' offers both opportunities and challenges for the South Carolina hospital.
07:40 AM
Best Hospital IT 2016: Roper St. Francis Healthcare

Best Hospital IT 2016: #5 Large Hospital
Roper St. Francis, South Carolina
IT Staff: 75
Overall Score: 61.26%

When we speak with Keith Neuman, vice president and chief information officer at Charleston, South Carolina-based Roper St. Francis Healthcare in mid-October, he's got a substantial to-do list ahead of him.

"Right now, a week from Monday, we'll be implementing Cerner's EMR – a rip and replace of McKesson," said Neuman, of a project almost two years in the works. "So that's fairly significant. After a couple false starts we believe we've got it nailed down and we're going to go live with it.

The ability to have an integrated system is essential, he said, along with "the ability to implement fresh technology in our environment that will allow us to more easily pivot toward where we need to go."

Neuman sees the availability of what he calls "niche functionality" on the rise. "You don't just have your bread-and-butter EMR anymore, but you have all these things you can bolt on, and you have vendors adding to their own suite.” That gives the staff more flexibility to innovate but it’s also a challenge.

Healthcare IT News Best Hospital IT Departments 2016: 
⇒ Meet the winners
⇒ CIOs reveal what makes an IT shop great 
⇒Interactive map: Best Hospital IT Departments 

Members of the staff will go to a trade show, Neuman explains, and they’ll come back saying “Hey, I saw this great thing. Right away, there's the big expectation that we have to have this great thing," said Neuman.

But the job of the Information Services department, he said, is to "step back and say, ‘How does that fit into the overall picture?’ Especially from an integration standpoint. That's becoming more and more challenging: As technology becomes easier to use, you suddenly start getting a lot of IT 'experts,' so to speak, coming out of the woodwork. Sometimes it's challenging to try to convey the difference between consumer technology and real enterprise technology."

That said, it's clearly time to embrace an array of technologies beyond the EMR, said Neuman.

"We're kind of over this whole meaningful use thing. Everybody can do it. We've got to look beyond that. One of the things we're looking at here at Roper St. Francis is looking at the data – millions of points of data – and digesting it into decision-making wisdom. EMR is old hat for many people, including myself, so now let's move on to how we're going to use the data. You know that next curve is that value curve, and that's where we're driving right now."


Workplace culture was one of 87 questions senior executives (CIO, CMIOs, etc.), directors of IT, clinical and systems analysts, technicians, help desk staff and others responded to on our survey.

Overall Ranking

Question Very dissatisfied or Disagree completely Dissatisfied or Disagree Neutral Satisfied or Agree Very satisfied or Agree completely
Question Very dissatisfied or Disagree completely Dissatisfied or Disagree Neutral Satisfied or Agree Very satisfied or Agree completely
How satisfied you are working for the IT department at this organization? 5.4% 5.4% 0.0% 17.6% 71.6%
How satisfied are you with your job and elements of your day-to-day work? 4.1% 2.7% 2.7% 20.5% 69.9%
How satisfied are you with your immediate work unit, team or IT department group? 2.9% 1.4% 4.3% 21.7% 69.6%
How satisfied are you with your direct supervisor, manager or group head, the person you report to directly? 2.9% 5.8% 7.2% 15.9% 68.1%
How satisfied are you with the senior management and leadership of your organization? 1.4% 4.3% 5.8% 49.3% 39.1%
How satisfied are you with the workplace culture in this organization? 1.5% 0.0% 3.0% 31.8% 63.6%
How satisfied are you with training, professional development and advancement in this organization? 3.0% 9.1% 13.6% 31.8% 42.4%
How satisfied are you with compensation, benefits and employee recognition at this organization? 1.5% 4.5% 6.1% 43.9% 43.9%
I plan to continue my career with this organization. 1.5% 1.5% 4.5% 21.2% 71.2%
I would recommend employment here to a friend. 1.5% 1.5% 1.5% 27.3% 68.2%