10 Ways to Break Your OSCAR

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This post lists 10 ways that you can easily create havoc in your OSCAR EMR system through inconsistent or incorrect input of data!

Some content from Mike Thompson. Updated 2022 by Adrian Starzynski.

Don’t use quotations or apostrophes in Patient Names

  • Dashes (for hyphenated names) are fine. General rule: type the name in exactly as it appears on the Carecard.
  • For names like O’Brien, use: OBRIEN
Example of an incorrectly inputted patient name

Reports with large date ranges

  • Run big reports after-hours to avoid impacting server performance during clinic.
  • You must let them finish, even if they seem to be taking a long time
  • If you don’t let them complete, they can occasionally get ‘stuck’ and eat up server performance, until the server can be restarted by your OSP.
Example of a HUGE report

Let eForm windows close on their own after saving

Example of an eForm’s buttons
  • Some eForms can take a few seconds to close after clicking “Submit” or “Print and Submit”.
  • If you manually close the window before it auto-closes, eForm data can be lost.

Don’t set overlapping schedules

  • When you set a schedule for a provider, ensure that the new date-range you’re setting doesn’t overlap with an existing date-range
  • Also, try to avoid very long durations, we find that one year at a time is the MAX
  • Overlapping and very-long schedules may not display properly, and can be tricky to clean up
  • Very long schedules can take several minutes to apply in OSCAR
Example of the Schedule Setting screen in Administration>Schedule Setting

Don’t open the same eChart on multiple computers at the same time

  • If the one user opens up the same patient’s eChart on multiple computers at the same time, it can lead to lost notes.
  • OSCAR automatically tries to save ‘draft’ versions, and can get confused as to which computer’s note is the ‘correct’ version to save.
  • It’s OK for different users to open the same eChart at the same time, since each user’s draft (unsigned) notes are exclusive to them
Example of the popup in the eChart that displays when you try opening the same eChart on multiple computers

Be careful with your Provider record numbering

  • Don’t add ‘leading’ zeroes to your Provider record numbers. Doing so can break some of the reports found in OSCAR (you won’t be able to get sensible results on some reports for these providers.)
  • Don’t erase names from provider records – it can make future reporting very difficult. You should mark deactivated users as inactive instead of trying to “hide” them in other ways.
  • Don’t ‘re-use’ old provider records. Doing that would make log tracing a mess/almost impossible.
Example of what you should NOT set as a provider number!

Be careful with Adding or Editing Specialists

  • Do not add apostrophes or quotation marks anywhere on this page.
  • Do not add commas in the Address field.
  • Doing so will result in an error page when you try to create a Consultation that is attached to this Specialist, and that Consultation and its data will be lost.
  • Make sure the phone/fax numbers are consistently formatted; the suggested format is 555-555-5555
  • Your OSCAR system may have a feature to enforce consistency/correct input in the specialists edit area. Contact your OSP to find out more.

(BC only): Ways to break your WCB Reports

  • Do not use MSP ‘Letter’ codes for your ICD9 Codes on the WCB report.
    • For example, do not use “V480”, use an ICD9 equivalent instead.
  • In the Clinical Info: do not use any ‘special’ nontext characters, such as accented letters (é), superscript or subscript, or non-english symbols (like greek or latin mathmatical symbols).
    • This will result in an MSP Rejection for a problem with your note. Simply remove the offending character and then resubmit with the edited form. (Tip: these can sometimes be entered by your dictation software without your knowledge)

Be Careful with the Unlink lab button

  • There’s a button on the Lab Result interface called “Unlink”. It is designed to un-link a report from a demographic if the lab report was matched to the wrong patient by error. But it is broken.
  • Using the Unlink is meant to return the report to the Inbox as a yellow Unmatched report, but it does not always do this.
  • Check with your OSP if this bug is fixed in your OSCAR version, and your OSP will advise you on other ways to unlink labs.