From Start to Finish, Shasta Networks Leads and Optimizes Cerner EHR Integration for Northern Inyo Healthcare District

A Radiologist Viewing Bran ImagingASHLAND, Ore. (September 29, 2021) — As a major employer and key provider of health services in Inyo County, Calif., Northern Inyo Healthcare District (NIHD) requires state-of-the-art technology to stay on pace with the evolution of the healthcare industry and provide excellent patient care. For its conversion to Cerner CommunityWorks, NIHD leveraged their 17-year partnership with Shasta Networks to lead their third EHR transition integration effort since 2003.

NIHD’s needs included maintaining the legacy EHR production environment, constructing new HL7 interfaces to its ancillary systems, and retaining full visibility into its messaging infrastructure – all in a six-month time frame. For its aggressive implementation requiring proactive and on-budget solutions, NIHD chose Shasta’s fifth-generation Ascent Platform, the most comprehensive HIT interoperability platform available. By virtue of its platform and services, Shasta was able to deliver the following:

  • Automated conformance validation and progress tracking across the network of integrations
  • Built-in executive dashboards for highly detailed and customizable KPI visualizations
  • Managed services including full-service implementation support (consultation, technical resources, project management, training), plus a range of flexible and scalable, post go-live support options that can be customized to NIHD’s future needs

This major system change included coordinating 13 vendors and 37 new and transitioning complex interfaces. Shasta’s challenge was to build, test and troubleshoot with all vendors to meet the go-live deadline. To meet the challenge, Shasta provided a 48-hour turnaround on all requested interface changes, including testing, in contrast to the industry standard of 1-2 weeks.

Four weeks before go-live, unexpected roadblocks occurred in testing with multiple vendors, threatening to cause major delays. Shasta overcame the most complex challenge of migrating historical clinical data from the legacy EHR – 60,000 charts, including some as large as 400 pages. When a bug in the legacy EHR caused rendering problems with PDF charts and made them almost completely unusable, Shasta uncovered an innovative solution to effectively retrieve, convert and deliver the legacy charts. Then, when bandwidth, storage and processing power became a serious issue, Shasta recommended a content management system in use at its other customer sites helping NIHD avoid lengthy contract negotiations. Ultimately, costly delays were prevented and the original go-live date was achieved.

“We would need to hire three or four very expensive technical people to provide the support and expertise Shasta Networks brings to the table,” said NIHD’s Bryan Harper, ITS Director/CISO. “They are true collaborators and bring potential issues to us well in advance, along with viable solutions. We receive huge value and ROI from our work with them.”

Shasta’s team, processes and platform provided the insight for highly proactive and effective HIT integration solutions – including ADT change requests, solving for mismatched MRNs, remapping issues, offering customizable dashboards, and facilitating public health reporting with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). With numerous HIT integrations completed together over the last 17 years, NIHD fully intends to keep its partnership in place with Shasta well into the future.

For more details about how Shasta Networks led a successful EHR transition for NIHD, please refer to the case study.

About Northern Inyo Healthcare District

Northern Inyo Healthcare District is known throughout the Eastern Sierra Region for providing high-quality, comprehensive care in the most patient friendly way, both locally and in coordination with trusted regional partners. The district, hospital administration, and the community have been dedicated to supporting and operating the Northern Inyo Hospital for nearly 75 years while expanding the auxiliary health care services available to the community through philanthropic and grant-based activities. For more information, visit