Create a Study: At A Glance

  1. Create Your Study eForm
    • Before you create your study, you will need to decide which Ocean eForm you want to use to collect your study data from patients.
    • You have the choice of creating a new eForm from scratch or customizing an existing one.
  2. Make Your Study eForm available for Ocean Studies
    • Once you decide on an eForm for your study, you will need to make a small adjustment to its properties to tell it to collect data in an anonymized study format.
  3. Create Your Ocean Study
    • Now you can create your Ocean Study from within the Studies tab of the Ocean Portal.
  4. Configure Your Study Settings
    • There are a few setup options that you can configure to ensure your study is operating as you envisioned it.
    • These options allow you to edit various settings, including participant key generation, creating a URL to make your study publicly available, and inviting other Ocean sites to join your study.
  5. Collect & Review Your Study Data
    • Now you can start collecting data using Ocean Tablets and/or your publicly-available study eForm URL.
    • Once you've used your Ocean eForm to collect data for your Ocean Study, you can view these data by exporting your study results from the Studies tab of the Ocean Portal at any time, as many times as needed.

Create Your Study eForm

To create an Ocean study, you will need an Ocean eForm, which patients will fill out, allowing you to collect your study data.

For your study, you can either create a new study form from scratch or customize an existing form in our core library or shared library of forms.

To learn more about eForm building and editing, please refer to our Guide to Building eForms.

Make Your Study eForm available for Ocean Studies

In the Ocean Studies tab, when you are creating a New Study, you may note that only a small subset of the available forms in the Ocean library is included in the list.

These are the forms that have been cleared for use within an Ocean Study. Most eForms in the library have been marked as OK for clinical use, but not for studies.

However, you can take any eForm, including the custom ones that you have designed, and mark it for study inclusion. You can do this by updating its Data Security Mode setting.

Note: Before you mark enable a form for use within a study, please ensure that there are no copyright or usage restrictions that would prevent its use or incur a licensing fee when used for clinical research AND there are no fields in the eForm, such as a phone number, name, or other patient health identifiers (PHI), that would compromise the anonymity of the data.

Follow the steps below to learn how to enable an eForm for use in a study.

  1. Access your form's eForm Properties.

    • Open the form in the eForm Editor.
    • Choose "Form Properties" from the Action Menu.
  2. Select a Data Security Mode.

    • Navigate to the "Form Memory & Data Storage" tab. Use the "Store form answers as" checkboxes to choose from one of the 3 following data security modes:
    • Clinical
      Stores form answers as an encrypted note for EMR clinical storage. These forms will not include their data within an Ocean Study. Most clinical forms use this setting.
      Select the "an encrypted clinical note" checkbox.
      Anonymous Study Data
      Stores form answers only as anonymous structured data within Ocean within an Ocean Study. This will NOT generate a clinical note. For example, this is ideal for a patient satisfaction study, where the clinician should not be able to see the patient's private answers.
      Select the "anonymous Ocean Study data" checkbox.
      Stores form answers as both encrypted clinical notes within the EMR, as well as anonymous structured data within an Ocean study. This is ideal for research studies that not only collect data for the study, but also generate useful clinical data for the clinician. For example, an asthma control study may provide useful information for the family physician.
      Select both the "an encrypted clinical note" and "anonymous Ocean Study data" checkboxes.
    • Note: If you choose the Clinical or Hybrid mode, please ensure the presentation of the note to the clinician meets ethics approval for the study.
  3. Save the eForm.

    • Click "OK" to exit out of the "Form Properties" window. Ensure that you click the "Save Changes" at the bottom right corner to prevent your changes from being lost.
    • Your eForm should now be visible in the list of eForms shown when creating a new study.

Create Your Ocean Study

Once you've finalized your eForm and set it up to be available for Ocean Studies, you're ready to create your study and start collecting data. You can do this by following the steps outlined below.

    • Navigate to the Studies tab in the Ocean Portal.
    • At the bottom left-hand corner of the screen, under "Actions", click “New Study” to create a new study.
    • Name your study, add a description if you like, and search for the eForm that you want to associate with this specific study. Once you are finished, click “Create”.

Configure Your Study Settings

After your study has been created, you can configure the following settings to suits your needs. Be sure to save your changes once you're finished.

Study Type
There are different tiers of studies, associated different pricing and capabilities. Contact us at for more information about these options.
Here, you have options for configuring your study participant keys.
Do not generate a participant key for this study
Prevents the generation of a study participant key for each study entry.
Align this study's participant keys with
Allows you to follow patients across multiple studies.
Capture EMR ID with submissions
allows you to identify the patients who have submitted each study entry.
Online Access
Here, have the option to make your study available for patients to access and fill out via a link that can be made available on your website. More about this can be found in "Allowing Access to an Ocean Study from a Website".
Participating Sites
If you have multiple sites that will be using your eForm to contribute data to your study, you can invite them to join you study by clicking this button.

Collect & Review Your Study Data

After you've set up your study, you can start distributing the form to your patients and collecting data.

  • If you've selected "Online Access", once you've added the URL to your website, patients will be able to start submitting responses.
  • If you haven't selected "Online Access", you can set up tablet rules to define which patients are selected to complete your study form or you can send patients your study form through Ocean Online Messages.

Once patients have started completing your study form(s), your study data can be downloaded at any time. For more information, please refer to "Viewing Data from Ocean Studies".