Patient Reminders (Overview)

Patient Reminders are automated emails that are sent out to patients before or after their scheduled appointments. These automated emails allow you to notify patients of their upcoming appointments, as well as optionally securely send messages to patients and optionally invite them to complete forms and questionnaires online, without the risks of email. With Ocean’s EMR integration, patient records are seamlessly updated without any scanning, typing, or manual staff involvement.

To learn more about how to create and configure your Patient Reminders, please refer to "Creating / Configuring Patient Reminders".

To learn more about the available Patient Reminders features, please refer to "Patient Reminders Features".

Note: Patient Reminders is currently ONLY available for those using the TELUS PS Suite, TELUS Med Access or Accuro EMRs.


Creating / Configuring Patient Reminders

  • You can customize your automated Patient Reminders by navigating to the "Patient Reminders" section of the Admin tab in the Ocean Portal.
  • Click the "New Reminder Rule" button at the bottom left of the "Patient Reminders" screen or the "Configure" button next to the "Send _ day(s) ___ appointment" setting to open the Patient Reminders configuration window.
  • Clicking either of the above options will open up a configuration window, where you can select from four different rule types. Please refer to "Managing Appointment Type / Reason for Visit for Reminders" for details on how to set appointment type(s) in your EMR.

    Reason:
    By selecting this rule type, you can type in an appointment reason, as it appears in Accuro, PS Suite or Med Access (e.g. Specialist Consult).
    Type:
    By selecting this rule type, you can type in an appointment type, as it appears in Accuro (e.g. NP).

    Note: Not supported for PS Suite or Med Access. Please use "Reason" instead.
    Reason & Type:
    By selecting this rule type, you can type in both an appointment reason and type, in the boxes that appear. Ensure that what you type in exactly matches what is in Accuro.

    Note: Not supported for PS Suite or Med Access. Please use "Reason" instead.
    JavaScript:

    By selecting this rule type, you can customize your reminder audience with more precision.

    • When selecting inside the Javascript Condition input field, the Rule Builder window will automatically appear. This will allow you to review the different types of javascript expressions, keywords, and syntaxes that are available for use when creating reminder rules. Clicking an item in the Rule Builder will copy the correct javascript code into the condition field for use.
    For more information and further examples, refer to the article "Basics of Javascript" to reference what can be used to select specific patient cohorts.
  • Once you have configured Patient Reminders, you can send a test email immediately by checking "Enable Test Mode" and then selecting "Force Send". Test emails will not include a live web link to complete eForms.

Patient Reminders Features

Patient Reminders allow you to automatically notify your patients of upcoming appointments and optionally complete forms or view a secure message.

Prerequisites for Getting Started

Before configuring your Patient Reminders, please ensure the following:

  • At the moment, Patient Reminders is supported for Accuro, PS Suite, Med Access EMR integrations only.
  • Clinics must have an Ocean Unlimited Bundle for Patient Messages to use Patient Reminders. To enable this bundle license, please contact us with your request and site number at ocean.tips/support.

Once your unlimited licence has been enabled, you will be able to configure Patient Reminders for your site. In the Ocean Portal, click Admin tab and then select "Ocean Reminders" from the menu along the left. You will see a screen similar to the screenshot below.

1 Enable Configuration
If checked, the system will begin sending out Patient Reminders on schedule.
2 Enable Appointment Confirmation
If checked, patients can confirm their upcoming appointments through the secure message area of their reminders. For more info see: Enabling Appointment Confirmation from Patient Reminders
3 Enable Test Mode
If checked, the system will send Patient Reminders on schedule, but using a designated (test) email address. This allows you to test your Patient Reminder settings for a period of time without emailing actual patients.
4 Reminder Time of Day
The time of day at which you wish to send your patients their appointment reminders.
5 Send _ day(s) __ appointment
The number of days before or after the appointment date that the reminder will be sent.
6 Force Send
This allows you to send the reminder immediately (usually for test purposes or last-minute appointments).
7 Delete
This deletes the form reminder.
8 Reminder Template (blue menu icon)
This opens a configuration window to select the email template that will be used to email the patient. The email template has full support for Ocean Keywords, such as patient name, etc. [weblink] represents the link that the patient can click to complete any eForms needed prior to the appointment using the standard Ocean patient eForm queue. Any eForms added via the template can also be filled out using the tablet when the patient arrives, even if the patient does not use the link ahead of time.
9 Save Changes
If you make any changes to these settings, ensure that you save your changes before leaving this page.

Managing Appointment Type / Reason for Visit for Reminders

Patient Reminders uses appointment types or reason for visit to determine who and what to send automated reminder emails to. You can customize your appointment types and reasons for visit by following the steps below.

PS Suite Accuro Other EMR
  • Log in to your PS Suite EMR.
  • From the Dashboard window, click "Settings" and select "Preferences..." from the dropdown menu of options.
  • From within the Preferences window, select "Appointments". Click the "Add..." button to add a new appointment type.
  • The "Appointment Type" fields will show up below, where you can name the appointment type and determine what appears as the details suffix for patients booked under this appointment type.
  • Be sure to save your changes before you leave.
  • Once you've created your appointment type(s), you can select them from the "Type" dropdown list when booking patients in for appointments.

Enabling Appointment Confirmation from Patient Reminders

When patients are sent Patient Reminder emails, staff can also use this opportunity to have patients confirm their upcoming appointments, which can then be synced back to the EMR.

How to enable appointment confirmations for Patient Reminders

    • Log into the Ocean portal
    • Navigate to the Admin tab
    • Select the Ocean Reminders menu option
    • Check off the "Enable Appointment Confirmation" box
    • Configure a new Patient Reminder (for details on creating new reminders, please consult this article)
      If existing reminders are already present, appointment confirmations will automatically be associated with those reminders
      • When configuring your reminder, you will be warned if the selected email template for the reminder does not contain the @apptDate, @apptTime and @providerName keywords. You can still send a template lacking this values, but for patient clarity and continuity, it is recommended your reminder template includes this information.
    • Click the "Save Changes" button at the bottom of the Patient Reminders screen after you have finished making changes to your settings

How patients confirm their appointments via Patient Reminders

Once the "Enable Appointment Confirmation" option is activated, Ocean will include the following line at the bottom of the email message patients receive:

Please click on the link below to confirm your appointment:
Confirm Appointment

  • After verifying their date of birth, the patient will be presented with a screen confirming their most recent upcoming appointment date, time, and provider. Simply by viewing this message, the appointment is now confirmed.

  • If the reminder email also contains a secure message and/or Ocean eForms to complete, the patient can proceed by clicking "next" to access those additional materials.

Behind the scenes, Ocean syncs the confirmation back to the EMR and updates the patient's appointment status in the schedule.