Ocean Tips: How to Collect Consent from Patients

Collecting and tracking consent from patients has always been an important – and often challenging – task for clinics.

With clinics shifting to telemedicine and virtual care, it is important that patients understand – and agree to – these new models of care. This requires clinics to  clearly communicate how to use these new methods of communication safely and effectively, and ensuring any privacy implications are explained.

Whether your clinic is trying to capture patient consent for email or SMS communication, virtual visits, clinic policies or procedures, Ocean has tools to automate the collection of consent and easily track these in your EMR.

If you’d like to start collecting consent or simply expand the use cases covered under your consent policies, the Ocean Library contains tons of pre-existing options built by leading teaching hospitals and other Ocean users. Here are some of the most commonly used consent forms (click the form name to preview):

As with any form in the Ocean Library, you can customize them to include your clinic’s logo, add additional questions, or build new ones entirely from scratch.

Here are some of the ways you can use Ocean to collect consent:
  • During the Online Booking Process – Collect consent at the time of booking by adding a consent form to your workflow. You can even customize which consent form appears after a patient makes their selection for the reason for visit. For example, presenting the Virtual Care Consent form if a patient chooses telephone or video visit.

Note: It is recommended that Online Booking users contact us for assistance when updating their online booking flow.

  • Through Your Website – By placing consent forms on your clinic’s website, patients can be directed to provide or update their consent at anytime. You can even link a series of forms together like email consent, virtual care consent, and demographic review so patients can easily update everything in one session.
  • As part of a Patient Message or Reminder – This is particularly useful if the patient has provided verbal consent, but you’d like to have something in writing. As you prepare the secure message for the patient, attach any relevant consent forms to be completed.
  • On a Kiosk or Tablet – Kiosks can be used for more than just socially-distanced check-ins. As some patients return for in-clinic visits, consider adding both the COVID-19 kiosk screening tool as well as email consent so you have their information on file for any future communications.
How can I track consent in the EMR?

Most of the Ocean consent forms are designed to print a note into the chart saying whether consent has been granted or declined. Depending on your EMR, there are a few ways to make this more prominent in the patient’s chart.

For PS Suite users, there is an email consent toolbar and a virtual care consent toolbar that you can easily add to your EMR. Simply visit the CognisantMD library on our website and search for “consent toolbar.” Popular toolbars include Virtual Care & SMS Consent Toolbar and the Email Consent Toolbar, both of which work side-by-side with the Ocean Toolbar and are updated automatically by the corresponding Ocean consent forms.


For other EMRs, it requires you to create custom demographic or custom measurements fields in order to track consent. If you need assistance creating these, you can refer to our support portal for great articles on how to map answers from an Ocean Form to a custom field in your EMR.

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