Uploading a Patient Cohort File to Ocean for Group Messages

Important Notice

Please be aware that Ocean’s cohort messaging service is designed to optimally handle no more than 1000 emails per site at a time. Sending numerous cohorts of 1000 emails in short succession will significantly delay the time these emails will be sent for your site and other Ocean sites. It may also result in email service providers blocking all Ocean emails from being delivered to your patients. Ocean will prioritize the sending of individual patient messages over bulk cohort emails.

We understand the need to keep your patient population informed about COVID-related updates. To send mass emails quickly (e.g. information about COVID-related updates to your entire patient population), it is recommended that you use a mass-email marketing service. If that is not an option, please only send one cohort message every 60 minutes to avoid impacting Ocean’s ability to deliver emails in a timely manner.

There are multiple formats that you can use for the importer.

If you need to break an exported patient list into smaller groups, we recommend you do not use Microsoft Excel, as this program can sometimes remove or alter aspects of the file's column structure. This will result in files incompatible with Ocean.

For Windows users, we recommend using a text editor such as Notepad++. For Apple users, we recommend Atom.

Standard Importer

The standard importer expects a comma-separated value file (CSV) with the fields declared in the following order:

  • surname
  • firstName
  • birthDate (yyyy-mm-dd)
  • sex
  • health number
  • reason for visit
  • email address
  • EMR patient #
  • note

Note: There is no header line.

PS Suite Patient Importer

You can do a batch export of patients for this purpose using a PS Suite search. You need to ensure the search has the following columns:

  • surname
  • firstName
  • PSS ID
  • health number
  • birthDate (yyyy-mm-dd)
  • sex
  • email address
  • privacy

Note: Trailing comma is required!

For your convenience, this is a sample PS Suite export search using the required column format. We recommend importing this file and then changing the search criteria in order to export patients from PS Suite.

  • To import this from PS Suite, Open the EMR (Records) window within PS Suite.
  • From the "Settings" menu, select "Edit Searches...".
  • From the "Edit" menu, select "Import Searches...".
  • Click "Perform Search" to run the search.
  • In the Search dialogue box, under the "Report Format" section, ensure the "Include Privacy Column" box is checked
  • Review your search criteria and update as needed. When you are ready to proceed, click the "Search" button at the bottom right of the window.
  • After you run the search, from the "Report" menu, choose "Utilities" and then "Save as CSV...".
  • This .csv file can now be uploaded into Ocean. This is an example of an exported CSV file.

Once you have uploaded your patients into Ocean, you may wish to send them all a standard email. Please refer to this article. for details.

HN Importer (Requires Accuro or TELUS API)

The HN importer should include a header row.

It expects a comma-separated value file (CSV) with the fields declared in the following order:

  • Last Name
  • First Name
  • PHN
  • ...

Note: Any fields can come after "PHN" - only the 3 fields specified above (i.e. first name, last name, and health number) are required.

How to export a CSV from Accuro

    • Click the Accuro icon in the bottom-left corner of the EMR and navigate to Reports > Query Builder.
    • In the Query Builder, click on the green plus icon to create a new query.
    • Name your new query and press "OK" to add it to the definitions list in the leftmost panel of the Query Builder.
    • Add relevant rules to your query to filter the patients you wish to upload to Ocean.

      For example, if you wish to create an export of all patients with a smoking risk factor:
      1. In the "New Rule" panel, select "EMR" from the "Rule Category" and select "Risk Factor" from the dropdown list.
      2. Next, create a new rule in the "Manage Rule" panel and select "Risk Factor" followed by "Smoking."
      3. Click "Add Rule" to the condition to your query.
    • When your query is ready, select "Run Report."
    • You may be prompted to "Check for Alert Matches." Depending on your preferences, you can filter patient matches by provider and view types. You can also decide which query fields you want to display in the final report. Click the "Run" button when you are ready to proceed.
    • When the Report view opens, select the "Export" button.
    • In the Export Results window, ensure "Encryption" is unchecked, as Ocean cannot parse a password protected file.
    • Click the "..." button to define what folder you would like to save the export file. Type in the appropriate filename followed by .csv file extension and click "OK."
    • Locate the exported CSV file on your computer and confirm that the default settings were applied and that the first three columns of the file have the headings "Last Name," "First Name," and "PHN."
    • Upload the file using the Ocean Cohort uploader in the Ocean Portal, ensuring "HN Importer" is selected as the importer type.
PS Suite Patient Importer (Legacy)

The PS Suite legacy importer expects a comma-separated value file (CSV) with the following fields in the following order:

  • surname
  • firstName
  • EMR ID
  • health number
  • birthDate
  • sex
  • email address
Standard Wolf Appointment Importer

This Wolf importer is based on the standard export format from Wolf EMR's appointment scheduler.

It expects a comma-separated value file (CSV) with the fields declared in the following order:

  • booking type
  • insurance province
  • PHN
  • surname
  • firstName
  • birthDate
  • DPID
  • ApptDate (yyyy-mm-dd)
  • ApptDuration
  • ApptReason
  • blank field
  • area code
  • phone number

Note: There is no header line.

Wolf Patient Importer

This Wolf importer expects a file that must include a header row.

However, the columns in the file can be in any order.

Note: Names should be included as a single fields in quotation marks: e.g. “Doe, John”.

Med Access Patient Importer
    • To export from Med Access, click the Reports menu option, located in the top-right corner of the main window.

    • From the reports window, configure the criteria for your search. Open the Searching tab and press the "Search" button. Once the resulting list of patients appears, click the "Excel" link under "Export options."

      Ensure you set the "Limit" dropdown field to the highest number, typically 200, to ensure no truncation warnings are present in the export data.

The default export from Med Access should already be formatted correctly for use with Ocean, but to confirm, the Med Access Patient importer expects a .xls file. Row 1 of this file must include the title "Patient List:", while Row 2 must contain headers for all of the following columns in this order:

  • Family
  • Given
  • Initials
  • Ins #
  • Birthdate
  • Gender
  • Provider
  • Address
  • City
  • Province
  • Postal Code
  • Area Code
  • Phone Number

For reference, download and review the medaccess_format_example.xls file at the bottom of this article.

General Importer

The General Importer expects a comma-separated value file (CSV) with the following fields in the following order:

  • Surname
  • First name
  • DOB
  • Gender
  • Home phone
  • Mobile phone
  • Business phone
  • Email
  • Street address
  • City
  • Province
  • Postal Code
  • Health Number Province
  • Health Number
  • Health Number Version Code
  • Appointment Date
  • Provider

Note: There is a header line.

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