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.

The first step to send a group message in Ocean is to obtain a file from your EMR. This file contains the list of patients that you are targeting in your group message. Each EMR has a unique way of obtaining this file, so please expand the appropriate tab below for instructions for your specific EMR.

Warning

Obtaining a cohort file from your EMR is an advanced process that should only be conducted by EMR administrators. You should be comfortable creating and refining searches in your EMR and splitting search results into smaller cohorts while maintaining proper file format.

By default, group messages in Ocean can be sent to groups with a maximum size of 100 patients. If you have exported a .csv file from your EMR and it contains more than 100 patients, please see How to Split a .csv File into Smaller Cohorts.

PS Suite Patient Importer

The PS Suite Patient Importer expects a .txt or .csv file with the following column headers:

  • Surname
  • First Name
  • Patient #
  • Health Number
  • Birth Date
  • Sex
  • Email
  • Privacy

Note: A trailing comma is required at the end of each row!

You can use the PS Suite search functionality in your EMR to obtain this file.

For your convenience, a sample PS Suite export search using the required column format can be downloaded by pressing the button below.

We recommend downloading, extracting, and importing the .srx file into your PS Suite EMR, and then adjusting the search criteria to suit your needs.

Steps to obtain the file from PS Suite:

Download Sample Search
  • Use the blue button above to download a zip file containing the search file. Once downloaded, locate the zip file in your Downloads folder.
  • Unzip the file by double clicking on it. This will provide you with the .srx file which can be imported into PS Suite.
  • To import this into PS Suite, Open the 'Records' window within PS Suite.
  • From the "Settings" menu, select "Edit Searches...".
  • From the "Edit" menu, select "Import Searches...".
  • Locate the .srx file you extracted earlier, and press 'Choose'. This imports the sample search into your list of searches in PS Suite.
  • Select the 'Ocean Batch Email Export' search from your list of available searches, and review the search criteria.
  • You can narrow your search results by modifying the search criteria, such as looking for patients in a specific age range as shown in the image on the right.

    Note: By default, group messages in Ocean can only be sent to groups with a maximum size of 100 patients, unless you are Using Your Own Email Address. Broad search criteria may provide a list of patients greater than 100 patients.

  • Click "Perform Search..." to expand additional searching settings.
  • In the 'Report Format' section, ensure the "Include Privacy Column" box is checked.
  • Click the 'Search' button at the bottom right of the window to execute the search.
  • After you run the search, from the "Report" menu, choose "Utilities" and then "Save as CSV...". Name the file so that it is easily recognizable to you.
  • The saved file can now be uploaded into Ocean using the PS Suite Patient Importer.

Please refer to this article. for additional details on uploading your patient list into Ocean and sending them a standard email.

Med Access Patient Importer

The Med Access Patient Importer expects an .xls file. The default export file from Med Access should already be formatted correctly for use with the importer, but to confirm, Row 1 of the 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

Steps to obtain an .xls file from Med Access:

    • Within Med Access, click the Reports menu option, located in the top-right corner of the main window.
    • Within the reporting window, set the criteria for your search by expanding the relevant categories on the right hand side.
    • For example, the image on the right shows the results of a search for patients in the EMR who have "Cognisantmd, One" listed as the Primary Provider, and who are in the age range of 40 to 45 years old.

      Note: By default, group messages in Ocean can only be sent to groups with a maximum size of 100 patients, unless you are Using Your Own Email Address. Broad search criteria may provide a list of patients greater than 100 patients.

    • Press the 'Search' button with the binocular icon to execute the search.
    • Once the resulting list of patients appears, click the "Excel" button near the bottom to download the .xls file.

      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 saved .xls file can now be uploaded into Ocean using the Med Access Patient Importer.

Please refer to this article. for additional details on uploading your patient list into Ocean and sending them a standard email.

HN Importer (Accuro)

The HN Importer expects a comma-separated value file (.csv) with a header row declaring the fields below 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.

Steps to obtain a .csv file 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.

      Note: By default, group messages in Ocean can only be sent to groups with a maximum size of 100 patients, unless you are Using Your Own Email Address. Broad search criteria may provide a list of patients greater than 100 patients.

      For example, if you wish to create an export of all patients with a specific Office Provider:
      1. In the "New Rule" panel, select "Demographics" from the "Rule Category" dropdown, and select "Office Provider" from the list that appears.
      2. In the "Manage Rule" panel, add your constraint(s) by pressing the "New" button and select the desired Office Provider you would like to filter on.
      3. Press "Add Rule" in the top right corner to add this rule to your query.
    • When your query is ready, select "Run Report" in the bottom right corner.
    • 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. Ensure you select a location that you can easily access, as you will need to upload the file into Ocean.
    • 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."
    • The .csv file can now be uploaded into Ocean using the HN Importer.

Please refer to this article. for additional details on uploading your patient list into Ocean and sending them a standard email.

OSCAR Pro

OSCAR EMR does not currently support the export of patient cohort groupings necessary for use with Ocean's Group Messages.

Other

While the above tabs and importers are sufficient for obtaining a cohort file PS Suite, Med Access, and Accuro, additional importers are available in Ocean. Please expand each tab below to view details for each additional importer.

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 (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”.

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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