1. Set Up Patient Messages Senders with Ocean Accounts

    Any individual that requires access to Ocean must have a free Ocean user account.

     

    Please refer to the article Adding a New User to Your Site.
  2. Enabling a Provider License for Patient Messages & Reminders

    Enable your patient messaging license in Ocean. If you would like to share this license with an admin/MOA, they must also have an Ocean user account and you must assign that user as your Primary Delegate.

    Please refer to the article Enabling a Provider License for Patient Messages & Reminders.
  3. Link User EMR Accounts to Ocean User Accounts

    Ocean users need to link their EMR and Ocean user accounts in order to enable alerts and track activity.


    Ocean administrators should provide the following instructions to all of their Ocean users in order to link their Ocean user account with their EMR user account. This step should only take a few minutes and must be completed by each individual user from the EMR.

    1. Open the Patient Messages window from a "dummy" patient chart.

    PS Suite Med Access Accuro OSCAR
    • Select "Email Patient" from the Ocean custom form or toolbar.
    1. Log in to Ocean to link your EMR and Ocean accounts.

      • Initiating an email will open the Patient Messages window in an internet browser.
      •  
      • At the top of the Patient Messages editor, you will see a banner that says: "Hello [your EMR username]. Click here to link to your Ocean account." Click this banner and sign in to Ocean with your Ocean user name and password.
      •  
      • Your EMR username will now be linked to your Ocean user account (and an accompanying Patient Messages licence, if applicable).
  4. Adding an Email to Receive Patient Message Notifications

    Customize where email notifications should be sent when a patient has viewed a secure message and/or completed a form.

    • By default, alerts are sent to the email address associated with the message sender’s Ocean user account. If you would like to change the default email or add additional emails to receive alerts, you can update the "Clinical Delegate Emails" by following the instructions below.
    1. Navigate to the My Account page

      • The My Account page can be accessed by clicking your name at the top right-hand corner of the Ocean Portal. 

    1. Update the Clinical Delegate Email field

      • Under your User Settings, find the field for Clinical Delegate Emails. Enter all email addresses that should receive notifications of patient responses and/or form completions. To include multiple emails please separate the addresses using commas.
  5. Create Your Default Template

    In order to create customized templates, you need to first save a default template.

    1. Open the Patient Messages window from a "dummy" patient chart.

    PS Suite Accuro OSCAR
    • If you are a PS Suite user, you can open the online messaging window by clicking the "Email Patient" button on the Ocean custom form or toolbar.
    1. Create your default template.

      • When you open the Patient Messages window for the first time, a basic template is automatically displayed. Before creating additional templates, you need to first save a default template. You can do this by editing the subject header and email body to your liking, and selecting "Save as Default" from the dropdown menu that appears if you select "Templates" at the top right.
      • Once you've saved your default template, you can create additional templates, which can be saved and available for use via the dropdown menu.
  6. Customize Your Templates (Optional)

    The template editor will allow you create and save message templates, allowing you to have a collection of standard messages (with accompanying secure messages and/or forms) to send to patients through one off Patient Messages or through Reminders.

    Building a customized template

    Customized templates are very useful if you often send the same specific message and/or a set of forms to patients. Additionally, a customized template is essential if you are using Patient Reminders.

    • To build or edit a template, log in 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". Select a test patient and click "Email Patient...". If you don’t have a test patient in Ocean please see the previous step on how to launch a test patient into your Ocean site.
    • The default template you configured in the previous step will appear. At this point, you can edit it to your liking by making changes to the areas specified below.

    Saving a customized template

    • When you're done, you can click the "Templates" button in the top right corner to either save this revised template as your new default template ("Save as Default") or as a new template ("Save Template") altogether. 
    • Clicking "Save Template" will cause a window to appear where you will be prompted to enter a title for this new template.

    Accessing a previously saved template

    • If you want to edit a template that you've previously saved, click "Templates" in the top right, make your changes, and then click the "Update Template" button in the centre bottom of the window.
    •  
    • If you want to delete a template, click "Templates" in the top right and select "Delete Template..." you can then choose the template you'd like to delete.

    Please Note: Attachments cannot be saved to patient messaging templates.

    Template Settings

    Email Body

    This area allows you to customize the message that the patient will see in their email inbox. The text “[weblink]” indicates where a link will appear for the patient to click on to access the message (the link will appear as “View Secure Message”, “Complete Questionnaire” or “View Secure Message and Complete Questionnaire” to the patient). Please note text included in the email body will not be recorded in the patient's chart.

    Include Secure Message

    Checking this box will expand the secure message panel. Messages for the patient can be added in this text field. A receipt of the secure message will be recorded in the patient’s EMR chart with a date and time stamp.

    Choose Files
    Clicking “Choose Files” will open a standard file attachment window where you can attach any relevant documents for the patient.
    Allow Reply checkbox
    When checked, this option will allow the patient to type a response to the message. Patient responses are tracked in your EMR.
    Notify me when viewed checkbox
    When checked, a notification will be sent to the sender’s email or the clinical delegate emails when a message is viewed.

    Include eForms

    Checking this box will expand the forms panel.

    Add eForm
    Clicking on this option will open a window to search for and select an Ocean form or favourite. Once a form is added, it will be listed in the panel. To remove a form, click the red "X" on the right.
    Notify me when complete checkbox
    When checked, a notification will be sent to the sender’s email or clinical delegate emails when a form is completed.

    Advanced

    In this panel, you can decide how the patient can verify their identity to access secure messages and/or forms. By default, Ocean uses birth date as the required validation method. However, you can change this to a password (given to the patient beforehand), the patient's health number or patient number.

    Link expiry
    This field determines the period of time during which the patient can access a secure message, attachment, or Ocean forms. If an Ocean form is opened, completed and submitted by the patient, it cannot be accessed again. However, secure messages and attachments remain available until the patient selects the checkbox saying, “I do not need to view this message again” or the link expires.
    Notify me if no response after
    This drop-down menu adds an alert if the patient does not open the message or complete the form within a set number of days.
    When patient finishes, redirect to
    This will allow you to redirect the patient to the URL of your choice once they've completed an online questionnaire (i.e. when they click the "Finish" button), instead of displaying Ocean's default message. Click here for guidance on using redirects. 
  7. Set the Email Sender Name Patients Will Receive a Message From

    By default, Patient Messages will appear to be sent by "Ocean by CognisantMD", which can be confusing for patients.

      • By default, emails sent to patients from Ocean on your behalf use the sender name "Ocean by CognisantMD".
      • However, this can be easily customized from the Ocean Portal. Click "Menu" in the top left corner and select "Admin". From the Admin Settings page, click Site Account and update the “Email Friendly Name” field.
      • Now, when a patient receives an email from your clinic, the sender name will reflect what you input in this field.
      •  
      •  
      •  

    Edit the email address Patient Messages will be sent from (optional):

    • Clinics that want to customize their “From” email address are required to have their own domain name and the ability to modify DNS records with the domain name registrar. Making this change requires that an SPF record is added, indicating that the Ocean email servers are permitted to send emails on your domain's behalf. Learn how to do this in the following guide: Email Patients Using Your Own Email Address


Link User EMR Accounts to Ocean User Accounts

Ocean users need to link their EMR and Ocean user accounts in order to enable alerts and track activity.


Ocean administrators should provide the following instructions to all of their Ocean users in order to link their Ocean user account with their EMR user account. This step should only take a few minutes and must be completed by each individual user from the EMR.

  1. Open the Patient Messages window from a "dummy" patient chart.

PS Suite Med Access Accuro OSCAR
  • Select "Email Patient" from the Ocean custom form or toolbar.
  1. Log in to Ocean to link your EMR and Ocean accounts.

    • Initiating an email will open the Patient Messages window in an internet browser.
    •  
    • At the top of the Patient Messages editor, you will see a banner that says: "Hello [your EMR username]. Click here to link to your Ocean account." Click this banner and sign in to Ocean with your Ocean user name and password.
    •  
    • Your EMR username will now be linked to your Ocean user account (and an accompanying Patient Messages licence, if applicable).

Adding an Email to Receive Patient Message Notifications

Customize where email notifications should be sent when a patient has viewed a secure message and/or completed a form.

  • By default, alerts are sent to the email address associated with the message sender’s Ocean user account. If you would like to change the default email or add additional emails to receive alerts, you can update the "Clinical Delegate Emails" by following the instructions below.
  1. Navigate to the My Account page

    • The My Account page can be accessed by clicking your name at the top right-hand corner of the Ocean Portal. 

  1. Update the Clinical Delegate Email field

    • Under your User Settings, find the field for Clinical Delegate Emails. Enter all email addresses that should receive notifications of patient responses and/or form completions. To include multiple emails please separate the addresses using commas.

Create Your Default Template

In order to create customized templates, you need to first save a default template.

  1. Open the Patient Messages window from a "dummy" patient chart.

PS Suite Accuro OSCAR
  • If you are a PS Suite user, you can open the online messaging window by clicking the "Email Patient" button on the Ocean custom form or toolbar.
  1. Create your default template.

    • When you open the Patient Messages window for the first time, a basic template is automatically displayed. Before creating additional templates, you need to first save a default template. You can do this by editing the subject header and email body to your liking, and selecting "Save as Default" from the dropdown menu that appears if you select "Templates" at the top right.
    • Once you've saved your default template, you can create additional templates, which can be saved and available for use via the dropdown menu.

Customize Your Templates (Optional)

The template editor will allow you create and save message templates, allowing you to have a collection of standard messages (with accompanying secure messages and/or forms) to send to patients through one off Patient Messages or through Reminders.

Building a customized template

Customized templates are very useful if you often send the same specific message and/or a set of forms to patients. Additionally, a customized template is essential if you are using Patient Reminders.

  • To build or edit a template, log in 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". Select a test patient and click "Email Patient...". If you don’t have a test patient in Ocean please see the previous step on how to launch a test patient into your Ocean site.
  • The default template you configured in the previous step will appear. At this point, you can edit it to your liking by making changes to the areas specified below.

Saving a customized template

  • When you're done, you can click the "Templates" button in the top right corner to either save this revised template as your new default template ("Save as Default") or as a new template ("Save Template") altogether. 
  • Clicking "Save Template" will cause a window to appear where you will be prompted to enter a title for this new template.

Accessing a previously saved template

  • If you want to edit a template that you've previously saved, click "Templates" in the top right, make your changes, and then click the "Update Template" button in the centre bottom of the window.
  •  
  • If you want to delete a template, click "Templates" in the top right and select "Delete Template..." you can then choose the template you'd like to delete.

Please Note: Attachments cannot be saved to patient messaging templates.

Template Settings

Email Body

This area allows you to customize the message that the patient will see in their email inbox. The text “[weblink]” indicates where a link will appear for the patient to click on to access the message (the link will appear as “View Secure Message”, “Complete Questionnaire” or “View Secure Message and Complete Questionnaire” to the patient). Please note text included in the email body will not be recorded in the patient's chart.

Include Secure Message

Checking this box will expand the secure message panel. Messages for the patient can be added in this text field. A receipt of the secure message will be recorded in the patient’s EMR chart with a date and time stamp.

Choose Files
Clicking “Choose Files” will open a standard file attachment window where you can attach any relevant documents for the patient.
Allow Reply checkbox
When checked, this option will allow the patient to type a response to the message. Patient responses are tracked in your EMR.
Notify me when viewed checkbox
When checked, a notification will be sent to the sender’s email or the clinical delegate emails when a message is viewed.

Include eForms

Checking this box will expand the forms panel.

Add eForm
Clicking on this option will open a window to search for and select an Ocean form or favourite. Once a form is added, it will be listed in the panel. To remove a form, click the red "X" on the right.
Notify me when complete checkbox
When checked, a notification will be sent to the sender’s email or clinical delegate emails when a form is completed.

Advanced

In this panel, you can decide how the patient can verify their identity to access secure messages and/or forms. By default, Ocean uses birth date as the required validation method. However, you can change this to a password (given to the patient beforehand), the patient's health number or patient number.

Link expiry
This field determines the period of time during which the patient can access a secure message, attachment, or Ocean forms. If an Ocean form is opened, completed and submitted by the patient, it cannot be accessed again. However, secure messages and attachments remain available until the patient selects the checkbox saying, “I do not need to view this message again” or the link expires.
Notify me if no response after
This drop-down menu adds an alert if the patient does not open the message or complete the form within a set number of days.
When patient finishes, redirect to
This will allow you to redirect the patient to the URL of your choice once they've completed an online questionnaire (i.e. when they click the "Finish" button), instead of displaying Ocean's default message. Click here for guidance on using redirects. 

Set the Email Sender Name Patients Will Receive a Message From

By default, Patient Messages will appear to be sent by "Ocean by CognisantMD", which can be confusing for patients.

    • By default, emails sent to patients from Ocean on your behalf use the sender name "Ocean by CognisantMD".
    • However, this can be easily customized from the Ocean Portal. Click "Menu" in the top left corner and select "Admin". From the Admin Settings page, click Site Account and update the “Email Friendly Name” field.
    • Now, when a patient receives an email from your clinic, the sender name will reflect what you input in this field.
    •  
    •  
    •  

Edit the email address Patient Messages will be sent from (optional):

  • Clinics that want to customize their “From” email address are required to have their own domain name and the ability to modify DNS records with the domain name registrar. Making this change requires that an SPF record is added, indicating that the Ocean email servers are permitted to send emails on your domain's behalf. Learn how to do this in the following guide: Email Patients Using Your Own Email Address