13.6 Notify Participants

NotificationAction Rule

A "NotificationAction" rule can be used to send an SMS and/or email notification to a Study Participant, or to send an email notification to any specified email address. NotificationAction rules can only reference the STARTDATE or STATUS of an event; notificaitons cannot be sent based on form item data values.

To create a notificationaction rule, go to Tasks>Rules and click Add Rules. Download the rule template and remove the EventAction section (lines 14-19). The resulting rule should appear as follows:


The Target should be the Object Identifier (OID) for the event startdate that you want to notify the participant about. For example, if you want to remind the participant to complete forms for the "Week 2" event, the target would be "SE_WEEK2.STARTDATE".


NotificationAction rules should be run on a schedule. This ensures that the system checks daily to determine if forms for an event are due. Follow the instructions in the green comment text to emove the leading and trailing characters of the RunOnSchedule option. The resulting line should be as follows:

<RunOnSchedule Time="specified time"/> Where specified time is the time you'd like the rule to run.

Initially, the RunOnSchedule time is based on the time of the OpenClinica server (London, England; Frankfurt, Germany; or Virginia, USA depending on your location/contract). Once a Participant accesses Participate, the RunOnSchedule time is based on the local browser time of the Participant. If the Participant travels to a different time zone, after the Participant connects to Participate in the new time zone, the RunOnSchedule time is then based on that time zone.


Next, move to the bottom of the rule and complete the RuleDef section as follows:

Complete the Expression. The Expression should check for when the form is due, and can use _CURRENT_DATE as a comparator. It should also check the status of the event to ensure that the notification will only be sent if the event is not yet completed. For example, if you want to remind the participant of WEEK 2 forms that are due tomorrow, the expression would be as follows:

<Expression>_CURRENT_DATE eq SE_WEEK2.STARTDATE -1 and SE_WEEK2.STATUS ne "completed"</Expression>

Provide a description, a name, and an OID for the rule. The description and name are free text fields. The OID must be all upper case.


The last step is to reference the rule you just defined. Enter the OID for the rule you provided in the RuleDef and complete the NotificationAction content. By default, and as a best practice, the notification will be sent if the expression provided in the RuleDef evaluates to true.

The elements of a NotificationAction rule include the following:

To: ${participant} and/or a specific email address to whom you're addressing the notification. Separate multiple addresses with a comma.

Subject: The subject of the notification (similar to the Subject line of an email)

Message: The content of the notification.

Parameters can be passed to the "To" and "Message" elements as follows:







Participant first name





Participant URL with automatic login





Participant URL without automatic login (requires an access code)





The name of the Study as defined in OpenClinica.





The single-use code the Participant must use to access OpenClinica Participate.





The name of the Event as specified in the Build Study task in OpenClinica.





The Participant contact information as provided when the Participant was connected to the Study. This may have been a mobile phone number (for SMS notification), email address, or both. OpenClinica automatically sends the notification to any and all means that were provided for the Participant.




Participant ID


        x         x


Site ID

          x         x


Site Name

          x         x


Study ID

          x         x

For example, the following Rule will send a notification to any Participant who has an Event scheduled for the following day: 


Notice that the Rule Expression uses _CURRENT_DATE and compares it to SE_INITIALTREATMENT.STARTDATE to determine that the Event is scheduled for the next day. (In other words, if TODAY is equal to the day BEFORE the visit and the status is not yet "completed", send a notification. If you want to send a reminder one day AFTER the visit, you would use _CURRENT_DATE eq SE_INITIALTREATMENT_STARTDATE +1, meaning that the rule will trigger if _CURRENT_DATE is one day AFTER the visit was scheduled and the status is not yet "completed".)

To force a line break, use \n at the end of a line.

Functional approval by rbhatnagar. Signed on 2019-08-01 3:33PM

Approved for publication by Benjamin Baumann (bbaumann), Principal. Signed on 2019-08-02 3:45PM

Not valid unless obtained from the OpenClinica document management system on the day of use.