Using the Offline Client

When healthworkers leave the clinic to work remotely, they should first ensure that the Communicare instance on their laptop is up-to-date.

When you leave the clinic to work remotely, you should use the following workflow:
  1. Synchronise data from the Communicare Production Server to the laptop.
  2. Leave the clinic with the laptop and work offline.
  3. Return to the clinic and upload changes from the laptop to the Communicare Production Server.

Synchronising your data - download

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

Warning: Synchronise your offline client back to your core Communicare database daily so that the most up-to-date data is available for the user taking the laptop off-site and offline the next day. The data on your offline laptop is the previous night’s backup data and only gets more out of date each day that you don’t synchronise your laptop. If you fail to update your offline client, the live data on the database is not a full record for the patients whose information was updated on the offline client.
To synchronise your data:
  1. On your laptop, click Synchronise Communicare or if you are already logged into Communicare, select Tools > Synchronise 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 synchronise with. You don't need to synchronise 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.
    Note: 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 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 in 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.
Example offline client toolbar

Synchronising your data - upload

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

When you return to an office or internet connection, the offline client needs to upload its changed data (patient records and visit information) to the Communicare core 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: Depending on the speed of the connection and the volume of data, the new data loaded into the system after synchronisation may not appear immediately after uploading. 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 > Synchronise 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 changes that occurred while you were offline. To synchronise the data from the offline client to the server, click Upload data to server.
    CAUTION: 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 DataSync Clients to download the next day. As a consequence, the changes uploaded from other DataSynch 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 manually. You would typically do this in the morning before you go offline.
Tip: If you want to leave your laptop in the clinic overnight and have it download the updated database automatically when it is ready, click Wait for new backup and download when available. Your laptop will then be ready to take offline in the morning.