How do I send a form to a patient to complete at home (or smartphone)?

Ocean web questionnaires allow you to send forms to patients at home, where they can complete the questionnaires on their home computer or mobile device (iPad, iPhone, Android phone, BlackBerry, etc.).

Below is a summary of how to send a web questionnaire. For more detailed instructions on how to send online messages, please refer to this article. To learn about all the possible secure messages settings, please refer to this article

If you are using OSCAR or PS Suite:

Simply add the Ocean eForm/custom form to the patient chart as you normally do for tablet use. Click the "Email Patient" link, which will open a browser window with an email template containing pre-populated patient information.

If you are using Accuro or a non-integrated EMR:

You can send emails using the Ocean portal. Find or create the patient in the "Patients" tab and click the patient. From the pop up box, select "Email Patient". 

Within the email dialogue box, select the forms you want the patient to complete. You may also choose to include a secure message at this step. 

Hint: you can use the "Templates" menu in the top right corner to save default email messages and/or settings for later use. See this article for more information on using templates.


Why is it prompting me to sign in when I send a message from my EMR?

As of the Ocean release on Feb 15, 2017:

Users who are sending Ocean Secure Messages directly from the EMR, without using an Ocean account, may see this message when they click "Send":

Signing in with an Ocean Account will enable the "notifications" are triggered by the following options in the "Send Email" dialog:

  • Notify me when viewed
  • Notify me when complete
  • Notify me if no response after: __

For security reasons, Ocean forces the email sender to have an Ocean account to remove any ambiguity as to who the email is sent from and where it was sent.

If any EMR users are sending Ocean emails right now without an Ocean account (a.k.a. "anonymous EMR users"), they will see this prompt:

"To continue using notifications for all users, please ensure that all your Ocean message senders proceed to sign up for an Ocean account in the usual manner. Your Ocean site administrator will need to either invite them or add them to your site."

Once the user's account is created, he or she can proceed to email the patient from the EMR and "link" the user's EMR account to their Ocean account by clicking on the button at the top of the email dialog.

Alternatively, you can change your email templates to avoid using the notification options above.


Can I edit and save the text that will appear in the body of an email when emailing out a form to a patient?

Yes, you can do this with templates. To edit your templates, navigate to the Patients tab in the Ocean portal, select a test patient, and click "Email".

The default template will appear and you can edit it to your liking by making changes to the secure message invitation for the patient. When you're done, to save the template, click on the "Templates" menu and select "Save Template".

If you want to use a template you previously saved, simply choose from dropdown list of previously saved templates located in the "Templates" menu and it will update the subject line, body, completion notification, and even the forms you included when you saved the template.

If you want to delete this template, select "Delete Template...". Otherwise, you can save this template as the new default ("Save as Default") or as a new template ("Save Template").


How can I create a PDF attachment in PSS to add to a secure message?

Ocean makes it easy to select and 'green bar' notes in a patient chart in PS Suite to be exported as a PDF file on the desktop. The file can then be uploaded to an Ocean Online secure message or eReferral.

  1. Find the note(s) in the file that you want to generate as a PDF attachment.
  2. Check the box next to the note to enable the "green bar".
  3. Click on the paperclip attachment icon on the Ocean custom form (next to “Email Patient”).
  4. This will generate a temporary PDF file on your computer's desktop (the file will be removed after 5 minutes and/or when you exit PSS).
  5. Once the PDF has been generated, it can now be opened, printed, and/or attached to a secure Ocean message.


Will it cause problems to use web questionnaires if two patients share an email address?

No, it will not be a problem. Each patient will get a personalized and individual link in the email, each with different access keys and encryption keys. Obviously the emails will end up in the same inbox (Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) and that may trigger privacy concerns that would apply for any sort of clinical email to the shared email address.

It's generally a good idea to warn patients about the privacy implications of sharing email addresses in a email consent form that a patient must review prior to receiving clinical web questionnaires. There are some very well-thought out email consent forms in the Ocean clinical library and shared by other clients if you don't already have one.