Frequently Asked Questions

Patient Tablets

How do I order an Ocean-compatible tablet?
How do I set up my Android tablet with Ocean?
Does the Ocean clinic tablet software run on an iPad?
How often is the device stolen by patients?
How do patients feel about using the tablet? How does it help them?
What happens if my tablet is stolen?
Can I use the tablet for other purposes after office hours?
Can I use the tablet for clinician-oriented data entry?
How do I create a custom Ocean eForm or modify an existing one?
How do I order an Ocean-compatible tablet?

To keep our prices as low as possible, we let our clients order their own tablets from an independent vendor. You will need a tablet using Android 5.0 or higher that supports wi-fi. To maximize readability for visually impaired patients, we recommend a screen size of 9″ or greater.

How do I set up my Android tablet with Ocean?

You can install Ocean on any tablet running Android 5.0 or later in just a few steps. We recommend a 9-inch screen or larger for optimal readability. Click here to view the Ocean installation guide.

Does the Ocean clinic tablet software run on an iPad?

No, the Ocean tablet software does not run on an iPad. Although the iPad is a wonderful device for consumers, there are several reasons why we felt it was an inappropriate choice for a patient-facing tablet deployed in the office. First, iPads are sought after as consumer devices and thus are more likely to be stolen. Also, due to their sleek, minimalist design, they are more vulnerable to breaking if dropped when compared to a thicker, more durable tablet.

Note: Ocean Online questionnaires, as opposed to the Ocean tablet, do indeed run well on patients’ iPads, iPhones, Macs, smartphones, PCs and any other browser-enabled platform. Only the clinic’s tablets require Android.

How often is the device stolen by patients?

We are pleased to share that we have had just one report of theft to date. The tablet automatically identifies the patient by name when they are first given it, and the devices can be easily tracked back to the most recent patient user. This, combined with the low value of an Android tablet adequately deters theft. Some clinics also use a workflow that requires patients to exchange their health card for the tablet (they get it back when they return the tablet), or a large, locked case to provide an additional deterrent.

How do patients feel about using the tablet? How does it help them?

Patients repeatedly express enthusiasm and satisfaction when using Ocean Tablet. It is easy for patients to pick up and use the tablet without prior instruction. In fact, Ocean Tablet scored 91% for patients completing the standard System Usability Scale in a recent UHN-funded research study. Ocean Tablet gives them a new way to communicate with their doctor, without the usual time constraints. They can now communicate their full history in advance of the face-to-face visit and take their time before answering questions. This new channel of communication complements the face-to-face time. It allows both the patient and the clinician to subsequently focus on the more empathic, patient-centric aspects of their care in their discussion, and frees up more time for educational discussions and follow-up planning. In addition to enhancing patient satisfaction, Ocean Tablet helps clinicians provide better clinical outcomes for patients. Questionnaires like the PHQ-9 and NDDS well baby screening questionnaires have been shown to enhance diagnostic accuracy and identify problems that may not be otherwise apparent in the traditional office visit. By eliminating the hassle of paper entry, Ocean Tablet greatly facilitates the deployment of these questionnaires and ensures more patients have access to this higher level of care.

What happens if my tablet is stolen?

Fortunately, nothing too serious. Absolutely no patient information is stored on the device. Hackers are unable to gain access to any patient information from the tablet. From our Ocean servers, we can instantly and permanently deactivate a tablet’s access to the clinic. A new tablet can be ordered from Best Buy, Future Shop or Amazon and is usually available within 2-3 business days. If one of your tablets has been stolen, sign in to your Ocean account online to deactivate the tablet as soon as you can. Let us know and we’ll be happy to help get things back to normal.

Can I use the tablet for other purposes after office hours?

For security reasons, you probably shouldn’t. It’s difficult to use a computer or tablet for general purposes without leaving personal data behind on the device. It’s especially risky to set it up with your personal passwords for email or other accounts. With that said, it is your own tablet, and if you are aware of the risk and prepared to secure it yourself, you can customize it however you like. Since Ocean Tablet runs on the stock Android system, you can browse Google’s Android support sites for more information.

Can I use the tablet for clinician-oriented data entry?

Ocean is a primarily a questionnaire platform (as opposed to a general-purpose tablet-based user interface to your EMR). Currently the tablet and its associated clinical content is designed predominantly for patient use, not for use by clinicians. However, clinicians are free to use the tablet for data entry purposes, and there are some forms which work well for this purpose.

How do I create a custom Ocean eForm or modify an existing one?

You can create or customize as many eForms as you like using the powerful eForm XML interface. You can use or share these forms with other Ocean users at no extra cost. Better yet, any form that works on OceanWave Tablets will automatically work with OceanWave Online web-based questionnaires, and vice versa. It requires a little bit of training and technical skill to learn XML, but once we get you set up you can build any form you like (or have someone else build it for you!). If you would like to sign up for additional support for eForm authoring training, let us know and we’ll be happy to help.

Patient Messages

Does Ocean Online use email to communicate with patients, which is generally not a secure medium?
How does Ocean help prevent a questionnaire being sent to the wrong email address?
How are Ocean Online questionnaires sent?
How do I review patient responses for Ocean Online questionnaires?
Does Ocean Online use email to communicate with patients, which is generally not a secure medium?

An invitation email is sent to the patient, but this email does not contain any private health information. The email provides a time-limited link for the patient to click, which allows them to authenticate and proceed to complete a secure web questionnaire. No patient health data is sent via email. All patient health information is encrypted throughout, meaning the usual concerns with email privacy are not applicable.

How does Ocean help prevent a questionnaire being sent to the wrong email address?

Ocean Online allows you to use a piece of information that only the patient would know. You can use a birthdate, a health number or even a secret password that you share with the patient via phone or in person.

How are Ocean Online questionnaires sent?

There are a number of options. If you are using an integrated EMR (i.e. TELUS PS Suite, QHR Accuro, or OSCAR), you can send it directly from within your system, with no additional sign-on required. The email address and other patient data will be auto-populated for you.

Alternatively, you can send online messages through the Ocean Portal from any internet browser – simply type in the patient’s email address and add a secure messages and/or pick forms for them to complete, as desired. The resulting note will appear in the Patients Tab of the Ocean Portal upon completion.

How do I review patient responses for Ocean Online questionnaires?

If you’re using a natively-supported EMR like Telus PS Suite or OSCAR, you simply open the patient chart to automatically download the completed note and view it. The process is extremely simple and near-instantaneous.

If you are using an EMR that does not work natively with Ocean, you can use the Patients tab in the Ocean Portal. Most clinics using this approach have their receptionists run Ocean in tandem with their EMR for a seamless workflow to import the patient notes. Ocean will conveniently preselect the patient’s note so that the user can simply copy and paste it into the EMR. The process is much faster and easier than the traditional need to scan and import paper notes.

If you are using Ocean for a research study, you may view and export batches of anonymous patient answers at any time using the Ocean Portal. The answers are easily imported and viewed in a spreadsheet or other data-analysis program.

Ocean EMR Integration & Ocean Portal

What EMRs are integrated with Ocean?
Can I use Ocean if my EMR is not integrated?
How do I view patients in the Ocean Portal?
How do I bring Ocean notes into my (non-integrated) EMR?
What EMRs are integrated with Ocean?

Ocean is currently integrated with TELUS PS Suite, QHR Accuro, and OSCAR EMR. Each integration provides slightly different workflow and feature options. We expect to announce additional EMR integrations in the coming months. Ocean has an Open API, which allows any EMR vendor to integrate with our platform. More details can be found in “EMR Integration with Ocean by CognisantMD“.

Can I use Ocean if my EMR is not integrated?

Yes, you can use Ocean without an integrated EMR by adding patients via the Ocean Portal, and then using the Portal to review and copy-and-paste patient results into their chart in your EMR. However, some features and functions (such as automatic demographic updates) are not available with non-integrated EMRs.

How do I view patients in the Ocean Portal?
How do I bring Ocean notes into my (non-integrated) EMR?
  • Importing Ocean notes for your patients into your EMR is easy to do, using a quick copy and paste from the Ocean Portal.
  • Most clinics using this approach have their receptionists run Ocean in tandem with their EMR for a seamless workflow to import the patient notes. Ocean will conveniently preselect the patient’s note so that the user can simply copy and paste it into the EMR. The process is much faster and easier than the traditional need to scan and import paper notes.
  • If you are using Ocean for a research study, you may view and export batches of anonymous patient answers at any time using the Ocean Portal. The answers are easily imported and viewed in a spreadsheet or other data-analysis program.
  • For more information, consult the Ocean Web Portal Setup Guide.

Ocean Studies

Can I use Ocean to conduct clinical trials or cross-sectional research on targeted patient populations?
How do I design a research survey?
Is patient data kept anonymous?
Who can access my research data?
How do I export my research survey data?
Can I use Ocean to conduct clinical trials or cross-sectional research on targeted patient populations?

Absolutely. Ocean makes it easy to deploy and aggregate patient survey data. We can work with you to develop customized adaptive questionnaires. You can even set up rules for automatic study invitation based on patient criteria. For example, we can configure OceanWave to invite and consent patients on a particular drug or other therapy to participate in a clinical trial. Using Ocean Studies, you can export survey answers for specified time ranges as either CSV (comma-separated values) or tab-delimited value for easy import into Excel or SAS.

How do I design a research survey?

The Ocean eForm protocol supports almost anything you’d want to incorporate into a research survey: text fields, checkboxes, single and multi-select menus, and so on. You can even use scripting to show or hide sections that are not applicable (no more,”If you answered “yes” to the above”) and present questions only for particular patient demographics (e.g. gender, age, etc.) We offer training classes and consulting to design research surveys. Contact us for information and pricing at info@cognisantmd.com.

Is patient data kept anonymous?

Yes, provided of course that the survey itself does not contain any patient-identifying questions (which you control). Patient responses are irreversibly separated from the encrypted patient information from the point they are received by the Ocean server.

Who can access my research data?

Patient responses may only be viewed by users in the site conducting the survey.

How do I export my research survey data?

When you log into Ocean, you can use the Ocean Studies tab to export data for any date range for a given survey form.

Ocean Clinical Resource Library for TELUS PS Suite

How do I install a clinical resource within PS Suite Telus™ EMR?
How do I request a new clinical resource?
How do I share a clinical resource with the Ocean library?
How do I install a clinical resource within PS Suite Telus™ EMR?

It depends on the type of the clinical resource, but generally it only requires a few installation steps. You can learn more about how to install clinical resources into PS Suite in “Ocean Clinical Resource Installation Instructions“.

How do I request a new clinical resource?

If you are hoping to find a particular clinical resource that isn’t in our CognisantMD Clinical Resource Library, please feel free to reach out to us at info@cognisantmd.com and we’ll see how we can help. We have limited resources for developing new resources without funding, but we might be able to work together to find a way to create the tool you need. Currently our clinical resources are only available for TELUS Practice Solutions Suite EMR. However, we are open-minded for new opportunities and would like to hear your ideas for sharing and developing other tools.

How do I share a clinical resource with the Ocean library?

If you have a point-of-care resource within your EMR that you would like to share with other clinicians, sharing it on Ocean is easy:

  • First, export your resource file as a separate file from the EMR. This varies depending on the resource and the EMR (let us know if you need help).
  • Next you’ll need to sign up for an Ocean account.
  • Once we get you set up with your account, click on the Library tab and click on Sign In to Ocean.
  • Once you sign in you will be redirected to the library page.
  • Right below the Search box, you will see a link to Upload New Resource. Click on it.
  • You’ll see the license agreement, which covers the usual medicolegal liability stuff but also grants permission for everyone to share your tool with other clinicians.
  • In the New Resource dialog, you may fill in the relevant information fields and upload your resource file. Screenshots are optional but helpful.
  • Click on Update Resource to upload your file.
  • That’s it! Search for your file in the clinical resource library to confirm that it’s available.
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