Licence Management Improvements for Ocean Site Admins

We are pleased to announce that we have released several improvements to make it easier to manage patient engagement licences in Ocean.

The most significant change is the creation of a new “Licence Management” page which is now accessible in the Ocean Portal via Menu > Admin > Licence Management. This new page consolidates multiple functions and allows admins to add, remove and assign licences for Online Booking, Patient Messages and Patient Reminders from a single page.

Coinciding with the release of this new page, we have sunset the “Providers” page previously used to allocate Patient Messages & Reminders licences, and removed the associated columns from the “Users” page as well. In addition, Online Booking licences must now be added first on the Licence Management page before they can be subsequently configured and activated on the Online Booking Settings page.

Finally, you’ll note that we’ve recently simplified our licence names to make them more intuitive. Our Patient Engagement Basic Licence, (formerly known as a Patient Messaging & Reminders Bundle) and our Patient Engagement Plus Licence (formerly known as Online Booking Bundle) still offer the same features and pricing you’re used to. Only the names have changed!

While the updates are significant, rest assured all existing settings have been maintained and no user action is required. For more details, please watch our comprehensive Feature Release video and refer to the relevant support articles below:

Ocean Notification: Pricing Increase Effective April 1st 2024

Effective April 1st 2024, the monthly fee for Patient Messages & Reminders will increase from $27.50 to $30. Additionally, the cost per SMS reminder will increase from $0.10 to $0.11. Long-time Ocean customers may recognize the $30/month rate, as this was our original pricing up until early 2020 when we lowered our rates to ease the financial burden on providers.

As a physician-founded company, our core mission has always been to offer unparalleled functionality while maintaining the lowest prices possible in the industry. This increase will allow us to continue to invest deeply in our products and deliver powerful new features, including the recently announced patient-friendly messaging experience.

We understand that price increases can be concerning. Please know that this decision was not made lightly. Our team is more than willing to discuss any concerns you may have or to assist in getting the most value from our services. For any questions or to schedule a consultation with an Ocean Practice Consultant, don't hesitate to reach out at

Clinic Support Staff Now Included with Ocean Patient Messaging & Reminder Licences

We're excited to announce a significant update to our Ocean Platform: All Clinic Support Staff at an Ocean-enabled Site can now send Patient Messages at no extra charge, as long as the Ocean Site has activated at least one Patient Messaging and Reminders Licence.

This enhancement means there's no longer a need to designate a "Primary Delegate" for a Clinic Support Staff member to send messages on behalf of healthcare providers.

Any user with a User Role of MOA/Secretary, Administrator, Nurse, Resident, Medical Student, or Physician Assistant can now directly send messages without additional configurations or changes to Ocean Site settings.

What This Means For You

If your Ocean Site has at least one active Patient Messaging and Reminders Licence, any Clinic Support Staff member can send Patient Messages without incurring extra costs.

Please note that Clinic Providers will still require a Patient Messaging and Reminders licence to send messages, enable reminders, or have Clinic Support Staff send messages on their behalf.

If you previously assigned a Primary Delegate, that user can continue to send messages, provided their User Role is recognized as Clinic Support Staff within Ocean.

User Roles Included in the Clinic Support Staff Category:

Ocean categorizes both support staff and learners as Clinic Support Staff for messaging purposes. This category includes the following User Roles:

  • MOA/Secretary
  • Administrator
  • Nurse
  • Resident
  • Student
  • Physician Assistant

Ensuring Your Clinic Support Staff Are Included:

To take advantage of this feature, make sure each Clinic Support Staff member's User Role is correctly set to one of the aforementioned categories.

Please Note: Changes to User Roles are audited by Ocean. Users should not update their role once they have saved it in their 'My Account' settings.

Instructions for checking or updating User Roles can be found here: How do I update my User Role?

Recommended Changes for Clinics Using a Custom 'From' Email Address in Ocean


In light of Google and Yahoo's new email sender authentication requirements taking effect in the first quarter of 2024, the Ocean Platform has been updated to support the new SPF, DKIM, and DMARC requirements. Ocean sites that are currently using a custom "from" email address for Ocean Patient Messages and Reminders are advised to update their DNS configuration to ensure email deliverability


By default, patient emails are sent from Ocean using "" as the "from" address. However, clinics that own their own custom domain can optionally change the sender address to a custom email such as "".

To use this feature, you must use your own domain name and have the ability to modify your DNS records with your domain name registrar.

Ocean Platform Updates & Recommended DNS Configuration Changes

Historically, the only DNS record requirement was an SPF TXT record indicating that the Ocean email servers are permitted to send email on your domain's behalf.

However, with Google and Yahoo's new email sender authentication requirements taking effect in the first quarter of 2024, the Ocean Platform has been updated to support the new SPF, DKIM, and DMARC requirements.

To ensure email deliverability, we highly recommend that organizations that use a custom 'From' email address to send email from Ocean update their DNS configuration to include the following:

  • SPF TXT record allowing Ocean to send email on your behalf.
  • DKIM CNAME records using Ocean’s domain key.
  • DMARC TXT record telling email providers like Google and Yahoo what they should do if an email message cannot be verified to be legitimate.

Detailed guidance on configuring your DNS records for use with Ocean can be found here: Email Patients Using Your Own Email Address.

Note: While we we highly recommend configuring all 3 record types to ensure the best email deliverability, the minimum configuration requirement for Ocean to send email using your custom domain name is a valid SPF or DKIM record.

Ocean Notification: Pricing Increase

As of October 1st, the price of Ocean Patient Messages, which includes Patient Reminders, and Ocean Online Booking will both be increasing by $2.50 per month.

As a physician-founded company, we fully appreciate the challenges that clinics face in order to provide exceptional care, which is why we have not increased our prices for Online Booking or Patient Messages in the past 10 years (in fact we lowered them in 2019). However, given the current inflationary climate that is driving up costs, we are making this adjustment so we can continue delivering the consistent, reliable service that our network depends on.

Discontinued Support for Internet Explorer 11

CognisantMD is announcing the removal of support for Internet Explorer 11 (IE 11) effective August 11, 2022. After that date, Ocean functionality may not work in IE 11 and no minor bugs or cosmetic issues will be fixed for it.

If you are currently using IE 11, we recommend you access Ocean with an up-to-date version of Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Safari.

Introducing the Template Manager

What's new?

We are excited to announce that we have released a new Template Manager in the Ocean Portal, making it easier for Site Admins to manage, edit, and create templates for patient messages and reminders. Here are some of the highlights:

    • Access for All Site Admins: The Template Editor allows any Site Admin to create templates without a Patient Messages licence, making site administration and set-up easier.
    • Quick Template Search & Management: Ocean users can now easily search and find the template they are looking for using the built-in search bar in the Template Manager.  This search feature is also included in the patient message window when sending a patient message.
    • Easy Create & Duplicate with Recommended Language: When creating a new template, Ocean will automatically insert a basic message for your patients, clearly explaining how to access their Ocean message. You can edit this recommended language to create custom templates for your clinic, or use it as-is to get started right away. If you need to copy a message template, we've made that easy too with our one-click Duplicate option.

How do I access the Template Manager?

  • To create and save a template, Site Admins can now access a dedicated 'Template Manager' directly from the Menu in the Ocean Portal by selecting the new 'Templates' option.
  • Alternatively, you can use the 'Manage Templates' button from the Templates menu when sending a message to a patient.

Template Manager

  • The new Template Manager provides a dedicated space to manage your existing templates and create new ones. If you have just created a new Ocean site, it will include two basic templates - one for Secure Messages and one for Appointment Reminders - which you can conveniently customize to suit your clinic's unique needs.
  • In this area, you can easily see all of your existing templates, along with any eForms that are attached to your template. If you have a large number of templates, you can use the search bar at the top to find a specific one, or press the blue 'Add Template' button if you want to create a brand new template.
  • You can modify any existing template using the 'Edit' button on the right hand side, or use the 'Duplicate' button if you're looking to create multiple similar templates with slight differences in content.

Template Editor

  • Once you have decided to edit or create a template, Ocean will launch the Template Editor. If you are creating a brand new template, it will be pre-populated with default wording which you can easily modify or replace.
  • The editor includes detailed descriptions for each editable field to make customization more intuitive.
  • Once you have completed the customization of your template, you can use the 'Save' button at the bottom to save your template, making it available to be used with Patient Messaging or Patient Reminders.
  • Alternatively, you can use 'Save & Make Site Default' to set this template as your Ocean site's default template, which is the template that automatically appears when sending a Patient Message.
  • To delete a template, you can press the 'Delete' button at the bottom right.

Global Template Settings

  • From the Template Manager area, clicking the 'Settings' button in the top right corner brings you to the new Template Settings page. This provides a single location for advanced template settings that will apply to all templates.
  • In this area, the 'Email Friendly Name' and 'From Address' are shown, which indicates the name and email address that will appear in patients' email inboxes when they receive a secure message or reminder.
  • You also have the option to 'Lock email body contents for non-admins'. If set to 'Yes', this prevents non-admin users on your Ocean site from modifying the email body of your templates when sending a message.
  • The 'Overdue Notifications' setting allows you to indicate the behaviour of alerts if you are making use of the Overdue Notification option on your template(s). You can choose between being alerted about each patient once (recommended), or to be alerted daily about all overdue patients until their statuses are cleared.

For more information on the different components of your templates, please see how to Customize Your Templates.

Discontinuation of the Ocean Tablet App on the Google Play Store

As of March 2022, the Ocean Tablet App will no longer be available on the Google Play Store. Moving forward, Ocean users should download the Ocean Tablet App directly from our support resources. This will ensure that users are consistently installing the most up to date version of the app.

To update your Ocean Tablet App, users can easily update directly from within the app settings on your device, or within the Ocean portal at the click of a button. For more details, please see the article on upgrading Ocean Tablets.

NEW: Ocean Portal Launches New & Improved Admin Settings Page

We are pleased to share that we have released a new and improved Admin Settings page in the Ocean Portal.  While the settings and features will remain unchanged, we have replaced the left-hand menu with a new overview page which organizes the settings by category and provides additional information about the settings that can be accessed on each page.

What has changed?

To navigate to a specific page, Ocean Admin users will now click the blue heading links (See Admin Settings image below).


To navigate back to the main settings overview page, users can use the breadcrumbs in the navigation bar or the back button in your browser (see orange highlighted section in the Site Features image below).

To learn more about the Admin Settings Page and view detailed explanations of the various features and pages it includes, please visit the Admin Settings overview here.



Important Ocean Patient Messages Alert - User Licence Required for All Users After July 14th

In July 2020, CognisantMD announced the discontinuation of the “Ad Hoc” Patient Messages pricing model licence. Under this legacy licence, Ocean users did not require a dedicated Patient Messages user licence in order to send patient messages and/or complete forms in the Ocean Portal (clinics were instead billed on a per-message/per-form completed basis).

As a courtesy, some clinics retained access to this pricing model for an additional year to allow for a smooth transition. However, support for this licensing model will be officially disabled on July 14th, 2021. Please note that any messages sent prior to that date will not be impacted, and any patient responses/form completions will appear in the chart as expected.

In order to send patient messages/complete forms in the Ocean Portal after July 14th, clinics currently using the legacy licence model will need to enable Patient Messages & Reminders user licences by following one of the following options:

  • An admin user on the Ocean account can manually enable Patient Messages & Reminders licences at any time from the Ocean Portal using the instructions here
  • For assistance configuring a messaging licence, a support ticket can be submitted here: 
  • Clinics can complete the form here to request a call with a CognisantMD team member to review their account and request support during this transition. 


New! Styled Emails for Patient Messages and Reminders

As of December 23rd 2020, emails sent through Ocean for patient messages and reminders will have a new and improved look and feel. In response to client and patient feedback, we have updated all Ocean emails to incorporate a simple, grey background frame, updated font, improved link styling, and a clear identifying footer (see below).    

With these changes, we hope to give patients greater confidence in the authenticity of both the message and links included. We are also making it much easier for patients to verify the security of the Ocean Platform by incorporating a clear footer with a link to a page that explains how Ocean is used by healthcare providers to communicate with patients.

We continue to aim to provide the most secure, reliable, and easy to use tools for patient engagement, and we look forward to sharing even bigger improvements to our Ocean templates in the new year. Stay tuned!


Ad Hoc Patient Message Licence Discontinued on July 1, 2020

In an effort to simplify product pricing and ensure a consistent approach across our customer base, CognisantMD has discontinued the legacy "Ad Hoc" Patient Messages pricing model. This per-message pricing approach has been replaced with the Patient Messages & Reminders user licence (*$25/month per user + delegate). Ocean users can enable this licence from the Ocean Portal using the instructions here

If you have questions or concerns about this change, please create a support ticket at

CognisantMD Office Closure due to Flood

We had a wild day yesterday at the CognisantMD office: a sprinkler a couple floors above ours sprung a significant leak and flooded the building. The entire building has been closed until the electrical systems can be powered up. 

The customer success team and the operations team is working remotely and we don't anticipate a significant impact on service levels. The Ocean Platform is hosted in an offsite data centre is not affected. We will update this ticket when we have more information about when you'll find us back at 3080 Yonge!

Now Live: Wait Times in Ocean for Diagnostic Imaging

Wait Times Updated Automatically

CognisantMD is pleased to announce the limited availability of live, up-to-date wait times on the Ocean Healthmap. Ocean’s wait time calculations are based on nightly calculations of referrals sent and processed through the Ocean eReferral Network.

Wait time data is currently available for a subset of Healthmap listings as part of an initial limited release. However, all listings accepting Ocean eReferrals (including listings that receive faxed referrals via an Ocean-eReferral-enabled central intake site) will display wait times in the coming months.

What Wait Times are Currently Available?

Wait times in Waterloo Wellington LHIN via the System Coordinated Access Program are now available for all referrals within the diagnostic imaging pathway in Waterloo Region, including but not limited to MRI, CT, Ultrasound and Nuclear Imaging.

Additional wait time data may be displayed for specialist and program listings that fall outside the System Coordinated Access Program. The list of specialist clinics accepting eReferrals and reporting live wait times is growing rapidly and is updated in the directory on a nightly basis.

Utilizing Wait Times on Ocean Healthmap

  • Viewing Wait Times

    • Users interested in viewing wait times can start by accessing the map-based directory by visiting or by using their EMR single-sign-on integration. To see a sample of available wait times, try visiting Waterloo region and browsing for common diagnostic imaging tests (e.g. "MRI").
    • Note: Users must search specifically for a health service rather than using a "keyword" search to see a wait time. If a wait time is available, it will be shown in the text description of the match.
  • Sorting by Wait Time

    • Once a search displays its initial results, users may choose to sort by wait time (either Wait 1, the time until the initial consult, or Wait 2, the time from the consult until the intervention).
  • Viewing More Details

    • To view more details about a wait time, users may click on the wait time link displayed in blue. This will open the listing page with a popup displaying more detailed information. This includes the sample size used for the calculation as well as any additional details provided by the listing's administrator regarding wait times.

To learn more, visit our article about how Ocean wait times are calculated.

New Feature: Announcements in Ocean

If you’ve logged into the Ocean Portal or the Ocean Healthmap recently, you may have noticed a new button in the top right corner. This is the new Announcements feature.

We want to make it easier for you to stay connected and up to date with news that’s relevant to your practice. Through the Announcement button, Ocean administrators can send you information about:

  • New features
  • Custom form updates
  • System updates specific to your EMR
  • Scheduled downtimes and other outages
  • Release notes

You can view announcements by clicking on the announcements button to the left of your site and user menus.

The number in the top right corner of the Announcements button tells you how many unread announcements you have in the announcements panel.

A blue “dot” on the right hand side of an announcement indicates it is new.

A link icon indicates the announcement is associated with a blog post, Zendesk article, or web link that provides more context.

Announcements will exist on your dashboard until they are no longer pertinent.

Complimentary Kiosk SimulCharge Replacement Offer!

June 2018: Complimentary Kiosk SimulCharge Replacement Offer!

If you are currently using the Ocean Check-In Kiosk, you will know that one of the peripheral components within your kiosk is a small charge-splitter, called the Lava SimulCharge USB.

Unfortunately, we have recently become aware of an issue with this component, which may cause the SimulCharge USB device to become unreliable and, over time, it could potentially reduce the life of your kiosk tablet.

While these issues may not affect all of our customers, as part of our commitment to customer service, we have decided to replace the old model of SimulCharge USB devices for all of our Ocean kiosk clients at no additional charge. The manufacturer has ensured us that the new model is more reliable and robust than the previous version, and it has been designed to support extended commercial use.

In your complimentary SimulCharge replacement package, you will find your upgraded SimulCharge device, as well as a set-up diagram to help you re-assemble your kiosk. As an added protection, the SimilCharge manufacturer highly recommends that you install their recently-released battery modulation app (instructions are included in the package).

Finally, we would greatly appreciate it if you could use the enclosed, self-addressed, stamped envelope to return your existing SimulCharge USB device.

We sincerely hope that you will be satisfied with your new kiosk upgrade. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions about any of the above.

We would also love to hear how things are going! When time permits, please let us know if there’s anything we can do to help make Ocean better for you by filling out our quick survey at:

PS Suite Users: Important Update to Framingham Risk and Cardiovascular Age Custom Form

As part of our commitment to open clinical content, we distribute free community tools in the Clinical Content Library, including custom forms for TELUS PS Suite. In one of those tools, the Framingham Risk and Cardiovascular Age calculator for PS Suite, an error has been brought to our attention relating to cholesterol calculations for female patients. This resulted in the form logic miscalculating risk for female patients whose cholesterol values were above 5.1 by up to 3%.

Note that this issue is only related to the custom form from the CognisantMD library, and not the CVDRisk stamp in PS Suite.

We recommend that you update this custom form immediately from the CognisantMD Resource Library; version 1.1 is now available with the fix.

To help you identify any patient charts that have been assessed using this form, we have attached a PS Suite reminder definition that you can use to review patient charts for reassessment. We recommend you run this reminder if you have used the tool at your clinic.

We will also be reaching out to contact users that our logs indicate have used this custom form.

Please contact us if you need any help with the above steps or have any questions at

New Feature: Export Related Studies

With one of the latest Ocean features, you can now bulk export studies that have aligned participant keys. Study data for each study will appear in a single Excel document, making it easier for you to track patients over time using the participant key.

To export all related study data, login to the Ocean portal and select the Studies tab. Locate the primary study that is being used to generate the participant key and select Export Results

You will be presented with a date range, leave this blank if you wish to export all data. Then, simply check the export related studies box, followed by save to export the complete data set. 

New Feature: eRequest Re-Routing

In order to sort incoming e-requests, we have developed a new feature that will allow you to re-route incoming e-requests depending on answers selected by patients. For example, if you have an e-request link for new patient intake forms at a clinic with multiple locations, you may wish to sort the e-requests based on the patient's preference of clinic location. 

In order to enable this feature, start by creating all of the relevant sites in the Ocean referral directory. You can do this by logging into the Ocean portal and selecting the Admin tab. Select directory listings from the menu on the left hand side, followed by Add New Listing. Complete the required fields to set up the new location. 


Next, hover over the name of your listing in order to see the listing reference. Do this for each site and jot them down so that they can be used to when it's time to edit your form. 

Once you have set up all of the relevant sites, you are ready to edit your e-request form. At the bottom of your form, add a new item (select add item) using formula as the type. In the example below, we have named the item Referral target but you can select any name that makes sense. 

Under note formatting, select never next to Create a note for this item to prevent it from showing up in the clinical notes. 

Next, under the Scripting and More tab, set the item reference (we have labelled it as referralTargetRef, but you can call it any name) and then add a formula to the Formula box. 


To create your formula, you will need your survey question item reference, as well as the listing references mentioned above. Your formula should be something similar to: 

clinic.r == ‘SuperMed Healthcare' ? ‘cognisantmd5429339' : ‘cognisant55490911'   where clinic is the survey item reference name, 'SuperMed Healthcare' is one of the survey response options (r. used in the formula indicates response) and cognisantmd5429339' and ‘cognisant55490911 are the references for the two sites. Once you have added your formula, save the changes. 

You should now be able to see the clinic locations listed under your e-request tab. Use the drop-down menu to toggle back and forth between e-request sites.  


We hope that you enjoy this new feature. If you have any feedback or questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at

Ocean Open API

The Ocean Open API allows EMR vendors and other external services to integrate Ocean capabilities that include seamless access to the Ocean clinical content platform and thousands of clinical forms. Your EMR will be able to leverage cloud-based services to collect data from patients at home (using Ocean Online) or in the waiting room (using Ocean Tablets).

To learn more about integrating with Ocean, visit the EMR Integration and API Integrations pages on our website or view the full Ocean API documentation.

Ocean Usage Report: Now Available!

If you've ever wondered about how much your team is using your tablets, you'll want to check out the new Ocean usage report. You can have it sent nightly and/or weekly, and it will tell you how many patients have used it, what users have used it, what forms are used most often, etc. It's extremely useful for new deployments to monitor staff compliance and for showing to clinic directors how much value you're getting out of an Ocean implementation!

In the next couple weeks, we'll add a summary table of Ocean eRequests so you can see your eRequest traffic from your website and other clinics (i.e. referrals).

To subscribe, simply log into the Ocean Portal, go to "View My Account" in the top right hand corner and check off the reports you want (don't forget to click save after).

That's it! Sneak peak below. Let us know what you think by contacting us at!

Tablet Form Scrolling Confusing for Some of Your Patients?

Our most often heard usability criticism was that some patients couldn't figure out how to scroll forms on the tablet. The animated "there's more to see, scroll with your finger" message at the bottom took too long to notice.

Sound familiar? If so, you'll be happy to hear that we redesigned the user experience for scrolling to be more self-evident for all patients using bright colours, more direct text and even an animated finger demonstrating how to scroll. Check it out and let us know what you think.

If you are customizing your own set of forms to use, you can even circumvent the scrolling entirely by splitting a form across several pages. Check the Ocean Training Materials for help with this feature, which is available in the eForm Editor's form properties dialog.

Ocean Tablets Waiting Room Video

Are you using Ocean tablets in your office? Would you like to educate your patients on why they are being asked to enter information on a tablet? The video below is available to all customers for use in waiting rooms and exam rooms. Simply download the file from the link below and play it on a loop setting.

Welcome to the Ocean Community Site!

We're happy to announce that we've launched our new Ocean Community Site. We're going to use it as a "knowledge base" -- a place that you can go to learn more about particular aspects of the Ocean platform -- as well as a "community site", where users can post and answer questions.

A lot of the support material is still on our website here: In the coming weeks, we'll start to build more of it here. Stay tuned!