Case Studies

Our longtime Ocean users and advocates have taken advantage of Ocean in order to improve their clinic efficiency, enhance their healthcare practice, and much more.

From Brock University and the University of Ottawa to Happy Valley and Couchiching Family Health Team, you can check out how some of our users are leveraging Ocean in our Case Studies.


Using Ocean to Collect Email Consent

Ocean makes it easy to collect email consent from your patients. In Ocean’s core eForm library, there is an Email Consent eForm available for all clinics to use. This form will allow any patient who uses an Ocean Tablet, or checks in at the Ocean Kiosk, to easily either provide or deny email consent. From there, their consent or refusal of email communication with your clinic will automatically get recorded into the patient's chart in your EMR and be available to be available for future tracking.

Benefits of Collecting Email Consent

Even if you currently have no plans to use email for clinical communication purposes, there are many good reasons to start collecting email addresses and explicit consent from patients. Consent may be required to communicate with patients via email for, but not limited to, any of the following purposes:

  • Appointment reminders
  • Office announcements
  • Clinical advice and test result notifications
  • Distributing educational resources
  • Clinic policy updates and reminders (including block fee details)
  • Consultations among health care professionals
  • Notice of a clinical trial, research or other studies for which the patient may be eligible

Read more of the benefits of capturing email consent in our blog post: "Automated, Paperless Email Consent form Your Patients".

Automating Email Consent Collection

By setting up a process to collect email consent now, your organization can "future-proof" itself to take advantage of the rapid technology developments affecting the healthcare sector. Below, you will learn about how you can automate collection of email consent on your tablets by pulling up Email Consent eForm via Tablet Rules.

  • To add rules to your tablet(s):

    • Log in to the Ocean Portal and navigate to the Tablets tab. Choose "Edit" for the tablet group that you want to add the rule to.
    • Enter the Rules tab and choose "Create Rule". Search for the "Email Consent Long Form" from the list of forms that pops up.
    • Click "Choose" to add a rule line for that form.
    • Use one of the following JavaScript rules to define when you want this email consent form to show up automatically for patients.
    • To request email consent from all patients once a year:
    • daysSinceLastCompleted > 365
    • Copy Rule
    • To request email consent the first time an adult patient comes to your clinic:
    • firstTime && pt.getAge() > 18
    • Copy Rule

If you have other rules for collecting email consent that you would like to share with the Ocean community, let us know by reaching out to us at: info@cognisantmd.com.

To learn more about other available Tablet Rules, please refer to "Tablet Rules".


Using Ocean to Automate Mental Health Screening

Ocean Tablets can be used to improve mental health care by automating mental health screening. Depression and mental health issues are among the most common reasons that patients seek care. The automated screening process using Ocean Tablets can be used to ask patients about any mental health concerns they are experiencing, with the results appearing in the patient's chart.

Below you will find instructions to add PHQ-9 screening to your Ocean Tablets. You can repeat the same instructions to automate other mental health screening forms as well (e.g. GAD-7, etc.)

To add rules to your tablet(s):

  • Log in to the Ocean Portal and navigate to the Tablets tab. Choose "Edit" for the tablet group that you want to add the rule to.
  • Enter the Rules tab and choose "Create Rule". Search for the "PHQ-9 (Patient Health Questionnaire) for Low Mood" from the list of forms that pops up.
  • Click "Choose" to add a rule line for that form.
  • Type in one of the following JavaScript rule in the "Trigger" text box to define when you want this form to show up automatically.
  • To load the PHQ-9 form every year for all patients over 18 years old:
  • daysSinceLastCompleted > 365 && pt.getAge() > 18
  • Copy Rule

If you have other rules for automating mental health screening in a standardized way that you would like to share with the Ocean community, let us know by reach out to us at: info@cognisantmd.com.

To learn more about other available Tablet Rules, please refer to "Tablet Rules".


Using Ocean to Automate Flu Shot Invitations and Screening

Each flu season brings with it a need to maximize immunization rates for our patient population. Using Ocean Tablets, a patient can quickly fill out our short Flu Shot Screening eForm when they check-in so that you can easily track your patients' flu shot status.

If you do not like our standard flu shot screening form and/or would like to add more information to collect, you can of course customize the eForm.

Even if you currently have no plans to use flu shot screening in the off season, you can set up a simple rule to prepare your tablets for the annual flu season by following the steps outlined below:

To add rules to your tablet(s):

  • Log in to the Ocean Portal and navigate to the Tablets tab. Choose "Edit" for the tablet group that you want to add the rule to.
  • Enter the Rules tab and choose "Create Rule". Search for the "Flu Shot" from the list of forms that pops up.
  • Click "Choose" to add a rule line for that form.
  • Type in one of the following JavaScript rule in the "Trigger" text box to define when you want this form to show up automatically.
  • To collect flu shot status between December 2018 and March 2019:
  • new Date() > new Date(2018,12,01) && new Date() < new Date(2019,3,31)
  • Copy Rule

If you are a PS Suite user and would like a specific rule that automatically pulls up the flu shot form every year during flu season, please refer to "Tablet Rules for Immunization Prompts".

To learn more about the other available Tablet Rules, please refer to "Tablet Rules".


Using Ocean to Facilitate Smoking Screening

By collecting smoking status from all of your patients on a regular basis, you can improve population screening and chronic disease management and prevention. For example, after implementing smoking screening through Ocean, the Couchiching Family Health Team showed an increase in the number of smoking cessation program referrals (for more details, check out Couchiching FHT's Case Study).

Below, you will learn about how you can automate collection of smoking status on your tablets by pulling up this Smoking Screen form via Tablet Rules.

  • To add rules to your tablet(s):

    • Log in to the Ocean Portal and navigate to the Tablets tab. Choose "Edit" for the tablet group that you want to add the rule to.
    • Enter the Rules tab and choose "Create Rule". Search for the "Email Consent Long Form" from the list of forms that pops up.
    • Click "Choose" to add a rule line for that form.
    • Use one of the following JavaScript rules to define when you want this email consent form to show up automatically for patients.
    • To collect smoking status from patients over 14 years every 3 months:
    • pt.getAge() > 14 && daysSinceLastCompleted > 90
    • Copy Rule

If you have other rules for collecting smoking status in a standardized way that you would like to share with the Ocean community, let us know by reaching out to us at: info@cognisantmd.com.

To learn more about other available Tablet Rules, please refer to "Tablet Rules".


Using Ocean to Collect Patient Feedback

Collecting patient experience feedback through surveys is a key component of the annual Quality Improvement Plan. We also know that collecting that feedback – which may contain patient health information – can be both time consuming and fraught with risk.

Below you will find instructions on how to load the "HQO Patient Experience Survey - 2015" automatically onto your tablets, as the last form that the patient is required to complete.

  • To load the form for every patient at the end of their tablet session:

    • Log in to the Ocean Portal and navigate to the Tablets tab. Choose "Edit" for the tablet group that you want to add the rule to.
    • Enter the Preferences tab and enable "Display a survey or other form after all other forms are complete". Type in "HQO Patient Experience Survey - 2015".
    • Save your preferences.

    To load the form on your your tablet(s) using rules:

    • Log in to the Ocean Portal and navigate to the Tablets tab. Choose "Edit" for the tablet group that you want to add the rule to.
    • Enter the Rules tab and choose "Create Rule". Search for the "HQO Patient Experience Survey - 2015" from the list of forms that pops up.
    • Click "Choose" to add a rule line for that form.
    • Type in one of the following JavaScript rule in the "Trigger" text box to define when you want this form to show up automatically.
    • To load the survey for every patient who hasn't completed it in the past:
    • firstTime
    • Copy Rule
    • Ensure that this rule is at the bottom of the tablet rules list so that it is the last thing that the patient needs to complete on the tablet.

To learn more about the Health Quality Ontario Patient Experience Survey, please refer to our blog post about the HQO-PES package.

If you have other rules for automating patient experience survey collection in a standardized way that you would like to share with the Ocean community, let us know by reach out to us at: info@cognisantmd.com.

To learn more about other available Tablet Rules, please refer to "Tablet Rules".


PS Suite: Using Ocean & PS Suite for Reminder-Based Population Interventions

See our blog entry on Increasing Cancer Screening and Preventive Care Bonuses for a general background on this topic.

Ocean questionnaire invitations can work in harmony with PSS reminders to help your clinicians be more proactive in offering interventions for patients within your clinic. This feature is particularly useful for implementing population management initiatives such as cancer screening reminders and patient satisfaction surveys.

PSS Reminders are a powerful EMR feature that can provide automatic cues for patients who are due for certain interventions such as pap tests, mammograms, bone mineral density screening, and so on.

Ocean has a set of complementary preventive patient questionnaires for obtaining consent for these interventions. For example, there is a questionnaire in Ocean that explains the purpose of a bone mineral density test and asks the patient how they would like to go about arranging this test.

Using a PSS reminder in conjunction with an Ocean survey, you can create an automated directive that tells the clinician or receptionist when to give a patient a specific form. This directive will result in a streamlined workflow, allowing you to increase patient coverage both at the point of care (using reminder cues) and as a batch invitation (using reminder reports).

Step 1: Creating or Importing Reminders

The first task involves standardizing on a set of reminders for pap tests, mammograms etc. The Ocean Clinical Resource Library has a number of reminders that you can freely download to get started. Please check the PS Suite manual for more instructions on creating reminders.

For Ocean, you may find it useful to create a reminder that keys in on a custom vital.

Once you have your reminders in place, the PSS reminders box will display a cue whenever you are viewing a patient who is due for that intervention.

For example, you may see a cue that says, "due for mammogram". This cue can incite a nurse to give the patient a Mammogram Invitation questionnaire that explains the rationale and procedure for a mammogram and asks how they would like to schedule one.

Step 2: Running Reminder Reports

To take a more proactive approach, you can run these reminders as Reminder Reports in PSS using the Patient menu.

For each patient in the reminder report, you can use Ocean to send them a 'Mammogram Reminder' online questionnaire invitation using a customizable Ocean Online Questionnaire template.

Tip: You might want to check off the 'Notify Me When Complete' box so that you can immediately follow up on the patient's answers after you receive an email notification.

Step 3: Viewing Responses

Once a patient has completed the questionnaire, you can open their chart to view their response. Depending on the Ocean questionnaire, it should be clear what the patient wants to do (self-schedule a test, decline, etc) and your staff can proceed accordingly.

Step 4: Follow-up Reports

Depending on the Ocean questionnaire used, the patient's response will have some standard text like this:

@MammogramReminder: Sent
Copy Text

This note is formatted as a custom vital for PSS. PSS can use custom vitals to segregate these patients when you run additional searches or reminder reports. For example, you can modify your reminder report to exclude patients who already have a "@MammogramReminder" in the chart. This option may be useful for repeat reminders.

To learn more about PSS custom vitals, please refer to "Using Custom Vitals to Track eForms or eForm Answers".

Step 5: Batch Reports

Ocean has a powerful feature that allows you to send online questionnaire invites to large patient cohorts. Using this feature, you can export all of the patients within a reminder report, upload their basic data to Ocean, and send a template invitation to all of them at once as a single action.

For more information on sending batch questionnaires to patient cohorts, see "Batch Emailing with Ocean".