Data Synchronisation Client

Data is synchronised between a laptop and the server if the patient's record has been changed since the last time the laptop was synchronised with the server.

For example:
  • Millennium Health Service has their main server located in Site A. They have a remote outpost, Site B, that uses laptops offline when conducting remote visits where there is no network connectivity.
  • Each day, provided the Offline Clients upload any new records or information from their laptops, a backup that takes place in the afternoon or evenings with the Communicare Server will add all of the changes that have been recorded to the main clinic's online client information from the day. This new updated database is then downloaded by the DataSync Server in the evening or overnight.
  • Each user can then locally download the most up-to-date version of their entire clinic's patient information easily to their workstation in the evening or the next morning, before they leave again to work offline in another location.

Synchronising your data - download

To take Communicare offline and have it function effectively away from the office, the data will need to be synchronised first to ensure the offline database is up-to-date and accessible.

To synchronise your data:
  1. On your laptop, click Synchronise Communicare or if you are already logged into Communicare, select Tools > Synchronize with Server.
  2. If you are logging in, in the Communicare Login window, enter your username and password in the relevant fields and select your organisation from the list. You may also be asked for a Workstation Location.
  3. In the Synchronise Communicare window, if a backup has been recently completed, you will get the following message: There is no new backup available to synchronize with. You don't need to synchronize with the server. Otherwise the backup will start.
  4. After the backup has been completed, click Start download.
  5. After the download has completed, click Start Offline Communicare to open Communicare in offline mode. Ensure that you log into Communicare using the offline client before you leave your health service so that you know everything is working correctly.

Working offline

Note: Following the Installation of DataSync, new users wanting to start using Communicare offline will need to first log in to their online version of Communicare, complete a backup (this can be requested through the Support if it's not possible to wait for the usual overnight backup process), and then synchronise their data once the backup cycle has been completed, otherwise their user id and password will not be recognised on the offline database.
To work offline:
  1. On your laptop, double-click Communicare Offline.
  2. The Communicare Login window shows Working Offline and the date and time of the replica you are using. Login using your usual credentials.

After login is completed, your Communicare toolbar is displayed, showing the current replica in use.

Synchronising your data - upload

When you return to an office or internet connection, offline clients need to upload their changed data (patient records and visit information) to the Communicare Production Server and synchronise offline to online. The program will check if there is data to upload, whether there is a new version of Communicare available and if there is a new data to download.

The Data Synchronisation Client can only be used in conjunction with the server it originated from. For example if your site has multiple servers it will not be able to install a Data Sychronisation Client from Server 1 and then upload changes to Server 2. You will always have to come back to Server 1 to synchronise changes.

Note: The new data loaded into the system after synchronisation may not appear immediately after uploading depending on the speed of the connection and the volume of data. If the new data is still not available online a few hours after synchronising, contact Communicare Support who will be able to provide an update or resolve this for you.
To upload your data:
  1. On your laptop, click Synchronise Communicare or if you are already logged into Communicare, select Tools > Synchronize with Server.
  2. If you are logging in, in the Communicare Login window, enter your username and password and select your organisation. You may also be asked for a Workstation Location.
  3. The Synchronisation program opens and detects any offline changes that have taken place. To synchronise the data from the offline client to the server, click Upload data to server.
    Note: Do not click Discard data. Information entered offline will be irretrievably lost.
  4. When the synchronisation is complete you will see the message Your data was uploaded successfully. Click Close.
Synchronising Communicare performs a data export on the laptop and sends this data to the server. The Server places the changes in a queue which means that your changes will not appear in Communicare on the Server immediately after you have finished uploading your changes. The import runs at a lower priority on the server. The busier your server is, the longer it will take for your changes to appear.
Note: The server will prepare a database every evening and this will be available for Data Synchronisation Clients to download the next day. As a consequence, the changes uploaded from other Data Synchronisation Clients and indeed any changes made since the database was created, will not appear on the Data Synchronisation Client.

If there is a new database available for download, you will be presented with an option to download it. If the new (usually nightly) database is not yet available, you will be presented with an option to wait and download it automatically once it becomes available. Alternatively, you may disconnect from the network and use your existing OffLine database without updating it.