Ocean Online Messages: Overview & Set-up

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Ocean makes it easy to send your patients secure, encrypted messages, forms and attachments from the patient record or the Ocean Portal. Before you start using Ocean Online Messages, we recommend taking the time to understand the different messaging features available and ensure your site is properly configured. This article provides a series of recommendations to get you started. To learn more about configuring a message, please review the Ocean Online Message Settings article.

*Note - this article assumes that you have already set up your Ocean site and implemented Ocean in your EMR. 

1. Set up your default email template and create any additional templates
When the Ocean messaging window is opened from a patient chart or the Ocean Portal, a “default template” is automatically displayed. The clinic’s default template is generally very basic with a simple message in the email field, no secure message selected, and no forms attached. Optional alert settings and security/validation options are saved as part of the template. To see all configurable email settings, please review the Ocean Online Message Settings article.

Once your default template is ready for saving, click on the “Templates” menu at the top right of the screen and select “Save as Default”. To save additional templates, edit the email, add any desired forms, attachments, or secure messages, and follow the same steps to access the templates menu. This time, select “Save as Template” and name your new template. 

2. Set up users with an Ocean account
Ocean will allow an anonymous user to send a message from the patient chart; however, it is recommended that all users have their own Ocean user account to enable alerts and track activity. To add new users to your site, admin users can click on the Admin tab in the Ocean Portal and select Users on the left menu. The “Invite Colleague” button at the bottom right will open a window to enter the new user’s email address and send an invitation.

3. Configure alerts
Ocean allows users to opt-in to receive alerts when a patient views a secure message or completes a form. Alerts can also be sent if a patient fails to open a message within a set period of time (using the “Notify me if no response” option in the Security Information panel). By default, alerts are sent to the email address is associated with the sender’s Ocean user account. However, this can be changed in the account settings in the Ocean Portal. By clicking on the Ocean user’s name at the top right of the screen and selecting “View my Account” from the drop-down menu, users can change their clinical delegate email to their preferred address. 

4. Configure the email address that will appear to patients
By default, emails sent to patients from Ocean on your behalf use "no-reply@cognisantmd.com" as the "from" email address. However, you can easily customize the email name that appears to recipients by updating the “Email Friendly Name” field in the Admin > Site Account settings in the Ocean Portal.

Clinics that want to customize the “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 be added indicating that the Ocean email servers are permitted to send email on your domain's behalf.


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