Creating / Configuring Patient Reminders

Note: You must be an Ocean administrative user to access Patient Reminders settings.

    • You can customize your automated Patient Reminders by logging into the Ocean Portal. Click the "Menu" button in the top left corner and select "Patient Reminders".
    • Click the "Settings" button in the top right corner.
    • Click "Add Reminder Rule" or "Edit" next to an existing reminder rule to configure your reminder.
    • Clicking either option will bring you to the "New Reminder Rule" or "Edit Reminder Rule" page. Refer to Edit Reminder Rules for a detailed description of each setting.
    • Under the Rule Conditions heading, you can configure your rule type. Please refer to Managing Appointment Type / Reason for Visit for Reminders for details on how to retrieve/set appointment type(s) in your EMR.


      Appointment Reason:
      By selecting this rule type, you can type in an appointment reason, as it appears in Accuro, PS Suite, Med Access or OSCAR PRO (e.g. Specialist Consult).
      Visit Type:
      By selecting this rule type, you can type in an appointment type, as it appears in Accuro or OSCAR PRO (e.g. NP).

      Note: Not supported for PS Suite or Med Access. Please use "Reason" instead.

      For Accuro and OSCAR PRO Users: you can type in both an appointment reason and type, in the boxes that appear. Ensure that what you type in exactly matches what is in your EMR.

      JavaScript Expression:
      By selecting this rule type, you can customize your reminder audience with more precision.
      For more information and further examples, refer to this article to Reminder Rules - Using Javascript Conditions.

Enabling Appointment Confirmation from Patient Reminders

When patients are sent Patient Reminder emails, staff can also use this opportunity to have patients confirm their upcoming appointments, which can then be synced back to the EMR.

How to enable appointment confirmations for Patient Reminders

    • Log into the Ocean portal. Click the "Menu" button in the top left corner and select "Patient Reminders".
    • Click "Settings" in the top right corner. On the Patient Reminders Settings page, click the "Edit Configuration".
    • Under the "Appointment Confirmation" heading, use the drop down to select enabled. Remember to Save your changes.
  1. Configure a new Patient Reminder (for details on creating new reminders, please refer to: Edit Reminder Rule)
    If existing reminders are already present, appointment confirmations will automatically be associated with those reminders
    It's recommended to include @apptDate, @apptTime and @providerName keywords. You can still send a template lacking this values, but for patient clarity and continuity, it is recommended your reminder template includes this information.

How patients confirm their appointments via Patient Reminders

Once appointment confirmation has been enabled, Ocean will include the following line at the bottom of the email message patients receive:

Please click on the link below to confirm your appointment:
Confirm Appointment

  • After verifying their date of birth, the patient will be presented with a screen confirming their most recent upcoming appointment date, time, and provider. Simply by viewing this message, the appointment is now confirmed.

  • If the reminder email also contains a secure message and/or Ocean eForms to complete, the patient can proceed by clicking "Next" to access those additional materials.

Behind the scenes, Ocean syncs the confirmation back to the EMR and updates the patient's appointment status in the schedule.

Reminder Rules - Using Javascript Conditions

Clinics can create Reminder Rules to send reminders to a sub-set of patients based on their appointment (provider, type, reason, etc) or certain demographics (age, gender, etc). 

For complex Reminder Rules, you can find some guidance on using JavaScript conditions to create a rules to suit your needs below.   For example:

"We only want to send a reminder to patients of a specific provider."

"We want to exclude virtual visit patients from receiving reminders with COVID screening."

"We want to send reminders to all patients except for patients of Providers A or B."

"We want to send reminders to any patients of Providers A or B."

"We want to send a reminder to all patients scheduled for an appointment that has a specific word or phrase in the Reason for Visit field."

Below, you can learn more about how you can configure your reminders to accommodate some of the situations above. Do you have another creative trigger to automate reminders for certain patients? Tell us about it!

1. Specifying a subset of patients using keywords

You can use keywords as a filter to only send reminders to patient appointments that meet that specific criteria. The most common criteria can be triggered using ScriptPatient functions and ScriptUtil functions. These functions are formulated as follows:

Object.function('relevant keyword') == 'value that meets the specific criteria

For "Object.function", select between ScriptPatient functions or ScriptUtil functions. 

For "relevant keyword", use Ocean keywords

For "value that meets the specific criteria", you will need to enter the exact text value. If this is a value from your EMR (e.g. appointment type or reason for visit), it is recommended you copy and paste it directly from your EMR to avoid typographic errors.

Provider names and appointment types can sometimes be returned inconsistently from EMRs. We use .includes instead of an exact match (==) as a catch all to cover these cases. 

Action Rule
Send reminder for appointments of provider A only.
ScriptUtil.getKeyword("@providerName").includes("Provider A")
Copy Rule
Send reminder only for patients over the age of 55.
pt.getAge() > 55
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Send reminder only for female patients.
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2.  Including all appointments types or reasons for visit that contain a given text or phrase

In some cases, you may have many Appointment Types or Reasons for Visit that have common name components (e.g. 'virtual visit), but are each unique.  In some scenarios, you may want to send a reminder to all the patients that have any one of the Appointment Types or Reasons that share the common name component.  You can avoid having to create a separate reminder rule for each one and instead you can create a reminder rule that performs a partial string match (triggering for all appointment types that include a certain word or phrase).  In this case, the partial string you want to match is the common name component.   The formula below shows how a partial string match is performed:

ScriptUtil.getKeyword('@ptReasonForVisit').includes('partial string')

where the 'partial string' is the common name component of all the Appointment Types or Reason For Visits that you want to include in the reminder rule.

Action Rule
Send reminder for all appointment types with "virtual visit" in the title.
ScriptUtil.getKeyword('@ptReasonForVisit').includes('virtual visit')
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3. Excluding a subset of patients from a Type or Reason

If you only want some patients within an Appointment Type or Reason to receive the reminder, you can 'filter out' patients using the following approach:

!ScriptUtil.getKeyword("the field that you want to use as the filter").includes("the value you wanted to filter out")

For "the value you wanted to filter out", you will need to enter the exact text value that appears in your EMR.  (It is recommended you copy and paste it to avoid typographic errors.)


Action Rule
Send reminder for all appointments types except 'Tele/E-Visit'.
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Send reminder for appointments for all providers except 'Provider A'.
!ScriptUtil.getKeyword("@providerName").includes("Provider A")
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4. Including patients that meet one of multiple criteria

You may wish to set a single reminder rule that will be sent for any appointment that meets any one of several criteria. Your first step is to determine the criteria that needs to be met in order for the reminder rule to trigger. You can use the 'or' operand || (two parallel bars), or the 'and' && (two ampersands) within the Javascript condition to specify your condition. Use 'or' to trigger the reminder if any of the conditions apply. Use 'and' to trigger the reminder if all conditions apply.

Action Rule
Send reminder for "Tele/E-Visit" OR "In-Person" appointments.
ScriptUtil.getKeyword('@ptReasonForVisit').includes ('Tele/E-Visit') || ScriptUtil.getKeyword('@ptReasonForVisit').includes('In-Person')
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Send reminder only for patients of Providers "A", "B" OR "C".
ScriptUtil.getKeyword('@providerName').includes('Provider A') || ScriptUtil.getKeyword('@providerName').includes('Provider B') || ScriptUtil.getKeyword('@providerName').includes('Provider C')
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Send reminder for all appointment types except "Tele/E-Visit" AND "In-Person" appointments.
!ScriptUtil.getKeyword('@ptReasonForVisit').includes ('Tele/E-Visit') && !ScriptUtil.getKeyword('@ptReasonForVisit').includes('In-Person')
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Send reminder only for patients of Provider "A" AND an appointment type of "Tele/E-Visit" .
ScriptUtil.getKeyword('@providerName').includes('Provider A') && ScriptUtil.getKeyword('@ptReasonForVisit').includes('Tele/E-Visit')
Copy Rule

Test your Reminders

When creating a new reminder rule, especially one that involves custom JavaScripts like the examples above, it's always a good idea to run a test to ensure the script runs as desired. Learn more about Testing Reminders.