How do I send a form to a patient to complete at home (or smartphone)?

Ocean web questionnaires allow you to send forms to patients at home, where they can complete questionnaires on their home computer or mobile device (iPad, iPhone, Android phone, BlackBerry, etc.).

Below is a summary of how to send a web questionnaire depending on which EMR you're using. For more detailed instructions on how to send online messages, please refer to this article. To learn about all the possible secure messages settings, please refer to Patient Messages Settings.

PS Suite or OscarAccuroOther
  • Simply add the Ocean eForm/custom form to the patient chart as you normally do for tablet use. Click the "Email Patient" link, which will open a browser window with an email template containing pre-populated patient information.

Once you're in the Patient Messages Editor:

  • Within the email dialogue box, select the forms you want the patient to complete. You may also choose to include a secure message at this step.
  • Hint: You can use the "Templates" menu in the top right corner to save default email messages and/or settings for later use. Refer to Patient Messages Templates for more information.


Why is it prompting me to sign in when I send a message from my EMR?

As of the Ocean release on Feb 15, 2017:

  • Users who are sending Patient Messages directly from the EMR, without using an Ocean account, may see this message when they click "Send".
  • Signing in with an Ocean Account will enable the "notifications" are triggered by the following options in the "Send Email" dialog: (1) Notify me when viewed, (2) Notify me when complete, and (3) Notify me if no response after: __.
  • For security reasons, Ocean forces the email sender to have an Ocean account to remove any ambiguity as to who the email is sent from and where it was sent.
  • If any EMR users are sending Ocean emails right now without an Ocean account (a.k.a. "anonymous EMR users"), they will be prompted with the following message:
  • "To continue using notifications for all users, please ensure that all your Ocean message senders proceed to sign up for an Ocean account in the usual manner. Your Ocean site administrator will need to either invite them or add them to your site."
  • Once the user's account is created, he or she can proceed to email the patient from the EMR and "link" the user's EMR account to their Ocean account by clicking on the button at the top of the email dialog.

Alternatively, you can change your email templates to avoid using the notification options above.


Can I edit and save the text that will appear in the body of an email when emailing out a form to a patient?
  • Yes, you can do this with templates.
  • Templates allow you to save the subject, email body, secure message, and eForms that you have previously sent to a patient, making the standard message available for you to select when you email another similar patient.
  • You can edit and configure your templates by clicking on a patient in the Patients view of the Ocean Portal and selecting "Email Patient". From there, use the Templates menu at the top right to manage your templates.
  • For more details on how to configure your templates, please refer to "Patient Messages Templates".


Will it cause problems to use web questionnaires if two patients share an email address?

No, this will not be a problem.

Each patient will get a personalized and individual link in the email, each with different access keys and encryption keys. However, the emails will end up in the same inbox (Gmail, Yahoo, etc.), which may trigger privacy concerns that would apply for any sort of clinical email to the shared email address.

It's generally a good idea to warn patients about the privacy implications of sharing email addresses in a email consent form that a patient must review prior to receiving clinical web questionnaires. There are some very well-thought out email consent forms in the eForms view of your Ocean Portal if you don't already have one.


How do I change the "From" address to my clinic name on emails sent to my patients?

By default, emails sent to patients through Ocean will be sent from "". You can change this setting so that your patients know that the email is coming from your clinic.

  • Login to the Ocean Portal. Click the "Menu" button in the top left corner and select "Admin".
  • Type in your clinic name in the "Email Friendly Name" field and save your changes.
  • Note: You may also need to update your clinic name in your email templates as well.


Are there limits to the number of files I can attach to a patient message?

Ocean does not limit the number of individual files that are attached to a patient messages. However, each individual attachments can not exceed 10 MB in size.


My clinic uses a VPN to remotely access our EMR. How can we review and create Ocean Patient Messages when accessing the EMR remotely?

Unfortunately, accessing Ocean through a remote VPN is out of scope for our support as it may involve VPN settings established by a clinic's IT staff. Ocean servers are monitored 24/7 for errors, issues and speed and our staff respond to changes quickly as they arise. Clinics can troubleshoot this kind of issue by attempting to access Ocean via the clinic VPN, then attempting to access Ocean using a different connection. If the issue persists while using the VPN only, it's likely related to the clinic's VPN. 

If you are experiencing issues with Ocean when accessing your EMR through a VPN remotely, we encourage you to send patient messages directly through the Ocean Portal

  1. In your EMR, ensure your patient has an email address and has provided email consent.
  2. Login to the Ocean Portal. If you aren't already in the Patients view, click the "Menu" button in the top left corner and select "Patients".
  3. Use the search bar on the left under "Find Patients". You can double click the contents of the search bar and search by the patients surname.
    1. If the patient isn't in Ocean, search for the patient's health card number in your EMR. Copy this number and paste it in the field under Upload From EMR (located in the Patients view side bar, under Walk-In Patients).
  4. Once you've found your patient in Ocean, click on their name. A window will appear where you can click Email Patient. This will open the secure messaging feature of Ocean.
  5. Compose your email or select from your templates list and click "Send" to send your secure message to your patient.