Questions of the Month: Ocean Online Messages

With our weekly software updates, there are always new features being added to Ocean. This can make it hard to keep up with the latest and greatest. This month, we clear up a few questions about the different ways you can use Ocean Online Messages.

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Q: Can we use Ocean to automatically send forms or appointment reminders?

Yes, you can! Ocean allows you to set rules to automatically trigger an email to a patient within a set time period before or after an appointment. Emails can include details about the appointment date, time, and provider, and they can also include Ocean Forms for the patient to complete from home. Ocean Form Reminders are frequently used to automatically send new patient intake packages to new patients, or to send patient reported outcomes or patient experience surveys after an appointment. You can learn more about this feature on our support portal here.

For now, Ocean Reminders are supported for Accuro EMR integrations only; however, we are pleased to share that this functionality is coming for our TELUS PS Suite users this Fall. Stay posted!

Q: Can we use Ocean to send a patient their results? How can we be sure they receive them?

You can definitely use Ocean to send patients secure messages including an attachment with results, lab requisitions, patient instructions, or any other attachment. By using the Ocean notifications, you can automatically receive an alert when a patient opens a message or completes a form. To ensure that messages don’t slip through the cracks, you can also easily set a notification to alert you if a patient fails to open a message within a set period of time, allowing you to resend or use another contact method. You can learn all about notification options here.

As an added benefit for secure messages, TELUS PS Suite users can easily create an attachment right from the patient chart by selecting a note to “green bar” it, and then clicking on the paperclip icon in the Ocean custom form. This creates a temporary file that can be added to a message in the Ocean message window. To learn more about this feature, visit our support portal here.

Q: I prefer not to manage inbound email from patients. Does Ocean let you send a message without allowing a patient to reply in email?

Absolutely. Ocean takes a “clinician-driven approach” to patient messages. By default, patients are not able to respond to Ocean Online messages (messages are sent from a “no-reply” email address unless a clinic sets up a custom reply address). In the case that you want to allow a patient to respond to a message, you can enable the “Allow patient reply” button for a one-time response. As with all Ocean patient engagement, everything is automatically tracked in the patient chart, including responses.

Q. We are interested in sending the same message and Ocean form to a group of patients. Does Ocean support “mass emails”?

Yes. Ocean allows you to bulk upload a list of patients from a file to assist with performing population-based interventions or batch patient communication. A list of patients can be uploaded with a user-specified ‘Cohort ID’, which you can use to send batches of online questionnaires or secure messages. You can learn more about this feature here.