Couchiching Family Health Team

Family Practice increases patient screening, improves staff satisfaction, and transforms COPD Program with Ocean

Couchiching Family Health Team consists of family physicians, nurse practitioners, and healthcare providers dedicated to serving a patient population of 7500+ in the Orillia and surrounding areas. To provide better care for their patients and meet their goals for chronic disease prevention and management, they needed to improve their smoking and COPD screening.

The Challenge

Their existing process for screening patients was inconsistent, billing opportunities were missed, and patient smoking status in the CPP was out of date for many. Yet adding to the workload of their already-strained nursing and administrative staff was not feasible.

The Solution

Using Ocean Tablets, CFHT, Healthcare Together Ltd and Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) designed an automated, patient-driven approach to screening that starts in the waiting room. Not only does the process not require additional staff effort, it also reduces administrative workload by allowing patients to update their contact information and complete email consent forms that automatically update the EMR.

In just the first four and a half months using Ocean, the team far exceeded their goals for screening and referrals, collected email consent from a third of its patients, and received overwhelmingly positive feedback from patients, clinic staff and physicians as patient care improved.

How It Works

  • Every patient over 14 receives a touchscreen tablet in the waiting room to review their contact information, complete an email consent form, and answer a simple question about smoking habits.
  • Based on a patient’s response, the tablet invites them to the smoking cessation program, and displays the Canadian Lung Health Test (CLHT), and MRC Dyspnea forms.
  • Responses are automatically collected and synced directly into the EMR, allowing for a non-intrusive method of data collection without adding additional work for staff.

Ocean Outcomes

After just four months using Ocean Tablets, the screening initiative results far exceeded expectations, with over 40% of patients completing screening in that period. Beyond the screening and referral numbers, satisfaction with the solution was also better than expected.

Clinic staff, physicians, and patients all report high levels of satisfaction with the Ocean-driven process. Patient engagement is up, and physicians report more time to talk to patients than document in the EMR. Many patients have said the technology impresses them and the non-invasive screening approach. Some patients even indicated they would not have otherwise brought up smoking cessation, but the private, non-judgemental tablet approach opened the door to this conversation.

The automated screening process has led to improved accuracy in patient records, as well as an increase in E079 billing code opportunities.

For administrative staff, the Ocean Tablets save time previously spent collecting and updating demographics and collecting paper-based email consent forms. With data automatically updated in the EMR, there is no time-consuming printing or scanning required.

As a result of the significant findings, CFHT is expanding the tablet program to further identify and support individuals with other chronic diseases including creating a more robust diabetes program, and using tablet-based screenings for depression and suicidal ideation.


Better care: Using the tablets, over 3000 patients were screened and 432 were identified as smokers. The CLHT form was administered to 1300 patients vs. 45 in the previous year. As a result, ~500 patients at risk for COPD with positive CLHT were identified.

Better history-taking: Enhanced understanding of patient symptoms, higher-quality documentation, and improved adherence to clinical guidelines.

Reduced work load: Patients independently completed screening questionnaires, updated demographics, and provided email consent on the tablets, without staff intervention.

33% increase in referral to smoking cessation program

445% YoY increase in smoking cessation counselling billing

+40% patients completed screening in 4 months

Read more about how Ocean is helping clinics and their communities


For Healthcare Providers

Proven digital tools and workflows purpose-built for clinicians, by clinicians

For Clinic Administration

Simplify the end-to-end experience and help ease the burden for staff and patients

For Healthcare Systems

Bring digital innovations to life for large organizations and diverse populations

The Ocean Platform

Patient Engagement Suite

Connect your community with easy-to-use tools

Ocean Provider Network

Co-ordinate care among clinicians and systems

Online Booking

Patient Messages

Patient Reminders

Kiosks & Tablets

Website Forms

Ocean Studies







EMR Integrations

Connect with confidence. Discover deep integrations with the leading electronic medical records in Canada

Integration News


Information for Patients

Ocean Forms Library

Getting Started


If you are an Ocean user, please visit our comprehensive Support Portal for detailed articles, video walkthroughs and technical guides:

Best Practices

Three quick tips for boosting your eReferral traffic

When clinics first join the Ocean Provider Network, they often ask us: “How do we let everyone know that we are now open for eReferrals?” While there are countless channels and methods to raise awareness today, here are three proven traffic-boosting tips from...

read more


About Us

10+ years of innovation in healthcare technology

Contact Us

Find the best way to connect with an OceanMD team member

Privacy Policies

Review our up-to-date standards and policies


We're hiring! Join our talented team of problem-solvers

News & Insights