The Ocean Platform allows EMR vendors to easily extend their functionality to provide support for the hundreds of secure patient-facing forms available on Ocean. With Ocean, you can send forms to patients to fill out from home, add patient tablets to your waiting room, put secure forms on your website, and much more, all from your existing EMR.
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Learn how Ocean’s Open API makes integration easy
Understanding the basics
The Ocean Service API allows you to integrate Ocean capabilities to get seamless access to the Ocean clinical content platform and access to thousands of clinical forms. Your EMR will be able to leverage cloud-based services to collect data from patients at home (using Ocean Online) or in the waiting room (using Ocean Tablets).
With a small investment of development time, you’ll have a revolutionary new feature to bring to your existing clients and sales opportunities.
Patient data security in the cloud
Worried about data security in the cloud? Ocean is the only platform that uses client-side encryption. You will encrypt patient data prior to sending it to Ocean using an encryption key that we’ll never see, allowing you to extend your EMR to the cloud without any risk to patient data privacy. Patient responses are encrypted using the same technique, ensuring that it’s impossible for even CognisantMD super admins to see any PHI at any stage of the process.
How it works
The flow of data can be straightforward: triggered by a button or menu option, the EMR will parcel up a patient record, encrypt it and upload it to Ocean, where it will reside for a short period of time (hours, days or sometimes weeks). We’ll return a short numeric reference code that you store with the patient record. Triggered by a further user action to choose an Ocean form, you will send a message to Ocean with the reference code for the patient and the form. You’ll then poll for updates to the status of the patient in Ocean; when the patient is done with the form, you can automatically download the note, decrypt it and apply it to the chart.
The note itself contains a concise clinical note (like something a physician would write based on the patient’s answers) along with any updates to demographic fields and risk factors. The note may have embedded lab/vital values that you can extract and store in a separate table.
At the appropriate places in your appointment and encounter screen, you’ll make calls to Ocean to send information back and forth. For example, in the Ocean OSCAR integration, you can load a patient into Ocean from the appointment screen (at which point the front-desk person would give a tablet to the patient). The encounter screen will download the note when the clinician sees the patient, reflecting a standard front-office/exam-room clinical workflow.
Depending on your system architecture, you may wish to externalize the polling and downloading of notes to patient charts by introducing a process to broker requests to and from Ocean. For example, in the QHR Accuro integration, a separate process runs to download patient response notes and add them to a documents directory read by Accuro. There are advantages to this approach: you can leverage existing APIs and notes can be added without opening a chart. On the other hand, you need to ensure that currently opened charts can be updated to ensure that users don’t have to close and open charts for notes to appear.
The Ocean Service API is built upon standard RESTful API principles that allow for simple stateless communication with the server. It requires only outbound HTTPS calls from your system, so you don’t need to configure any network settings even if your system is designed to run in client-server.