Category Archives: Software updates

Version 1.22.4579 onwards

  • Improved NVS order handling in case of order not accepted and other rare and unusual responses
  • Client summary label now optionally includes pet listing depending on whether the global configration flag
    IncludePetsInSummaryLabel is set or not
  • System now automatically saves clinical notes when the current user is not a vet and the clinical note does not contain any content other than TX. This is primarily to improve work flow when pricing, then finalising and taking payment.
  • An update weight right-click option has been added to the waiting, in consult & to pay status lists
  • The operations and appointments screens are now synchronised so that they display the same date
  • Exported clinical history can now exclude the pet alert field. If this option is required, then please contact Black Dog Software
  • Facilities added for printing multiple address labels to sheets of labels as used in a standard printer
  • Issues affecting the import of pdf files via the office and practice admininistration –> document import screen have been fixed. Additional options added to help identification of import target if a standard file-naming convention is used.
  • The mail merge export facility from the reminder list screen now includes the client email address.
  • PAYE/tax handling updated for the new tax year (2012-13).
  • The calculation of VAT paid on accounts that are in credit has been identified as not being entirely satisfactory in some circumstances (but not actually wrong and self-correcting in any case whenever the balance returns to zero or in debit). This has been amended and additional overnight consistency checks put in place.
  • Phone line integration facilities have been extended so that the system now supports a wider range of telephone exchanges. For further information please contact Black Dog Software.
  • When processing payments, the input boxes for the amount paid by cash, cheque, etc. auto-complete to the current outstanding balance, although this behaviour can be supressed if necessary. There are now two modes available for the auto-completion: either to the balance as at present, or to the current invoice amount. The default mode is set via
    global configuration but controls exist at the top right hand corner of the payment panel allowing the mode to be changed
    manually before any figures are entered.
  • Improved feedback and subsequent handling of NVS out of stock information.
  • A show on map facility has been added. This uses a postcode to display in a browser window a map showing the location of the postcode. To use on a client details screen right-click a client address and select the show on map option, or from the contacts list right-click a contact and again select the show on map option. By default the system uses Bing maps but it can alternatively be configured to use Google maps if preferred.
  • A facility to open up email windows directly from Black Dog has (finally) been implemented. This is available from the client details screen (click button new email adjacent to the client email address) and from the contact details screen (click button email adjacent to the contact email address). Note by default this facility is not available as it relies on the existence of an email client (eg. Microsoft Outlook) on the host PC and thus has to be configured on a individual PC basis. Please contact Black Dog Software to have this enabled where appropriate.
  • The background colour used for pet alerts on clinical history screens is now configurable via the global configuration value AlertBackColour; possible values are red, violet, orange, khaki, blue, yellow, green or gray.
  • The text values of client and pet alerts can now be used when creating client letters such as consent forms. There are in fact two mechanisms available for achieving this: one inserts the text into the Black Dog creation screen allowing review and modificaton by the user before the document is created; the other inserts the text directly into the document. Please contact Black Dog software for further information.
  • The order details screen now displays the total number of lines in the order and the number of lines currently showing.
  • The system has to date always used the default Windows printer when printing standard documents eg. account statements, although it has been possible to specify a individual printer for invoices. Additional options are now available: the local configuration value DefaultPrinter controls the printer used for standard documents and can be set to WindowsDefault, PromptUser or to the name of a specific printer; the local configuration value InvoicePrinter can be set analogously; and there are also A5 variants for both.

For further information re. version numbers etc. see the earlier post.

Version 1.20.4295 onwards

  • Colouring is now used to help indicate when a discount scheme has been set for a pet: yellow when a scheme has been set for that pet only, and blue when a scheme has been set for the client which then also applies to the pet. Additionally the system alerts the user to the existence of a discount scheme for a pet – this behaviour can be suppressed via the global configuration flag SuppressDiscountSchemeAlert

  • The export to excel facility now optionally includes client names & addresses where appropriate

  • The abbreviations ww and wf for with water and with food can now be used when specifying drug dosage instructions

  • Now supports pay as you go postcode lookup facility as provided by

  • The service fees screen now has view options to allow easy review of pricing events set

  • Now supports a percentage surcharge screen action for use on the debtor administration screen which allows the application of a fee to selected multiple clients, with the fee calculated as a percentage of the current oustanding balance. If this facility is required, or you would like further information, then please contact Black Dog Software

  • A5 invoice and receipts now available

  • The delay flag on open invoice items can now be set (or unset) by simply left-clicking the appropriate column of an open invoice. Note delayed items are suppressed from the totals displayed on the open invoice screen, although still contribute to the open invoice total displayed on the client details screen, and are not finalised, i.e. are left open, when the open invoice is finalised. This can be useful when wanting to seperate out items to be claimed back under insurance from other items for which payment is required immediately

  • PAYE configuration and tax/NI calculations tested for the new tax year 2011/12

  • Now supports DocMail – this is an internet based postal service which prints, stuffs envelopes, and posts documents at very competitive rates, for example a single black and white A4 letter can be sent second class for a total cost of 28p + VAT. For further information see The initial implementation allows users to send individual invoices and account statements to customers but provided the DocMail service proves to be reliable, it is expected that this facility will be extended to handle multiple clients and other types of documents.

  • The Takings screen has been modified to display total card, cash and cheque payments received, both by period and totalled across multiple periods. The view options in the top right hand corner control whether the screen displays cashing up errors or totals.

  • VetXML eClaims that have been declined can now be re-opened.
  • The Takings screen now uses colour coding to help highlight the status of takings periods:

    • BLUE – the current takings period, i.e. the most recent one and the one currently active to which new invoices/payments are added to
    • YELLOW – indicates that the takings period has not yet been cashed up
    • RED – indicates that the takings period has card and/or cheque cashing up errors that require reconciliation
    • ORANGE – the cash cashing up error exceeds a configurable value (which is set to £1.50 by default)
    • WHITE – any takings period not described above
  • Service fees can now have their VAT rate set. Note that the system checks that any VAT rate set matches the VAT rate of any non-itemised additions.

  • Service fees now allow associated pricing events, i.e. actions that are taken when the service fee is priced (not added to an estimate). These include the pre-existing facilities:

    • prompt for a microchip number and update the pet details accordingly
    • update the pet’s neutered status (for spays and castrates)
    • update the pet’s dead/alive status (for euthanasia/cremation fees)
    • update the pet’s last seen date (for fees representing actual treatment)
    • create/modify a reminder for the pet

    (Note the first four of the above were previously controlled via properties of the service fee category to which the service fee belonged but for increased simplicity these actions are now controlled by individual service fee settings.) To these the system has now added the following pricing event actions:

    • create a to do item
    • create a client letter or label
    • carry out a screen action from the client, pet, or debtor list
    • send a Black Dog message

    All these options are configured via a new pricing events tab on the service fee details screen. For more information about the different options please contact Black Dog Software.

For further information re. version numbers etc. see the earlier post.

Version 1.16.4052 onwards

  • Appointments can now be marked as a visit – the pink edit panel includes a visit checkbox in the bottom right-hand corner and when ticked the pink edit panel expands to display additional fields relevant to visits away from the surgery: visit address, contact phone number, expected time of arrrival, and any relevant notes which are useful for noting directions, any special equipment needed, etc. The system automatically switches the appointment length to a globally set default visit length – this is configurable. The visit address and contact phone number have to be selected from details entered on the client details screen and the system warns when saving if these have not been set. A client details button has been added to the edit panel allowing easy access to the client detail screen so that an additional address can quickly be entered. Note the CTRL+TAB key combination is a very useful way of switching between recently viewed screens.

  • A day sheet listing appointments and/or visits on a given day in a given room/column can now be printed – right-click the appointments grid, select the option print day sheet, and then follow the on-screen instructions. The surgery name and address appearing at the bottom of the listing correspond to the global configuration values RDLC_SurgeryName and RDLC_SurgeryAddress.

  • The system now allows machines running standalone in semi-restricted mode to cash up takings periods – this facility is disabled by default. Please contact Black Dog Software if this should be enabled.

  • Special service fees such as credits, debits & speical items are now omitted automatically from any multiple price modification carried out via the service fee list – this ensures that the function is not disabled inappropriately.

  • The financial analysis spreadsheet created by the right-click option export details on the VAT periods screen now includes debtor information at the beginning and end of the analysis period. This allows the visual reassurance that any change in debt over the period, namely the net invoiced total less the net takings total as displayed on the takings periods worksheet is matched by a corresponding change in the client balances as shown by the debtors worksheet. Note that the automatic overnight consistency checks carried out by the Black Dog system guarantee that the numbers do balance so that this visual check is unnecessary but nonetheless reassuring.

  • Enhanced envelope printing to cope with the more recent intelligent printers that check the actual paper size when printing

  • Drug and service fee descriptions can now include the characters ‘%%’ (two percent signs) with the effect that all text after and including the percent signs is ignored for the purpose of drug labels and invoices, i.e. only the text preceeding the percent signs appears on invoices and drug labels. This allows uses to append any text they like which can include text to make searching when pricing easier, or any general notes. For example if a practice switches from stocking Tribrissen to Trimacare, then the price description can be set as ‘Trimacare 80mg %% tribrissen’ so that users searching for ‘tribrissen’ still find the correct drug even though they have forgotten the name change

  • Corrected the ‘VAT calculator dialog’ so that this displays the appropriate VAT rates following the recent VAT change. Note that this oversight affected only the input of expenditure information and does not relate to sales VAT – the latter was handled correctly at the time

For further information re. version numbers etc. see the earlier post.

Version 1.16.3952 onwards

  • A client telephone number can be set as the SMS default indicating that this is the preferred number to be used for any text messages to the client. Such telephone numbers can then be included by the system when exporting client information to be used for reminder purposes etc. If this usage is intended then it is suggested that the practice has a policy in place to ensure that suitable client permission has been obtained.

    To aid the correct setting of the SMS default flag, the system will prompt the user whenever a new telephone number is added that has been described as mobile. This prompt can be suppressed by setting the global configuration flag SuppressSMSDefaultPrompt.

  • In-built database queries have been added to aid manual stocktakes, whether taken routinely at a year end or as preparation for conversion to automated stock control.

  • Added a right-click option to the client list screen allowing easy sending of a message re. the selected client; a similar option also added to the contact list screen to send a message re. the selected contact.

  • Added a right-click option to the client list screen allowing automated dialling of any telephone number for the selected client (if the system supports this).

  • The system prompt warning of overlapping appointments can be suppressed by setting the global
    configuration flag SuppressOverlapApptWarning.

  • A new service fee can be created by simply copying (and then modifying) an existing service fee: simply right-click the fee to be copied in the service fee list and select the Copy option.

  • The Black Dog system now supports a direct serial connection to Nationwide Laboratories’ Fuji FDC lab machines allowing direct import of test results.

  • The pet summary displayed at the top of clinical history screens can now display either date of birth or actual age. The age is displayed by default but if date of birth is preferred then the global configuration flag ClinHxPetSummaryUsesDOB should be set.

  • Text input boxes appearing in input dialogs are now combo boxes allowing the user to optionally select from the most recent inputs entered by the client (up to a maximum of 10).

  • The Document Import screen now allows direct opening or deletion of available files for import as listed in the Files listbox via right-click options.

  • When a new supply item is added to a drug/product price, the system prompts the user whether the new supply item should be set as the default order and/or pricing item.

  • The print draft drug order facility now optionally allows the exclusion or inclusion of
    delayed items, and whether a single or all suppliers are required.

For further information re. version numbers etc. see the earlier post.

Version 1.16.3877 onwards

  • VAT is now being calculated on a per line rather than a per invoice basis. This means that the VAT included in an invoice may differ slightly than previously, even for the same goods and the same (gross) total price. Additionally the VAT rate applying to a drug can now be set to S (standard currently 17.5), R (reduced = 5%) or Z (ZERO = 0%). This can be done via the control in the bottom right-hand corner of the ordering & pricing tab of the drug details screen, for example if selling Hills Greyhound food then this can be ZERO rated. Invoices now print out with an additional column per line indicating the VAT rate (usually S). If an invoice contains goods with any rate other than S, then a VAT breakdown will be printed on the invoice detailing the total net, VAT and gross amounts charged for each rate applying. Alternatively the system can be configured to always print the VAT breakdown or always suppress it (the latter is believed to be contrary to HMRC requirements). Currently the VAT rate cannot be changed for service fees (but this will change).

  • Configuration automatically added to handle new standard VAT rate applying from 4/1/2011

  • When creating a new drug price, the system allows immediate creation of a generic thus removing the need to enter bogus supply information before continuing. If the description of a generic does not contain the word generic, then this is automatically appended. When pricing a generic the user is provided with more complete details (sale unit and price as well as description) ensuring that the correct variant is chosen.

  • Clinical notes can now be transferred from one pet to another – when viewing the clinical history screen, right-click the note to transfer and select option Transfer ...
    This is to handle the scenario when a clinical note has been entered against the wrong pet.
    Note the permission level required for this is set by default to be non-zero, and that a clinical note (comprising the first 20 or so characters) remains for the source pet indicating the transfer.

  • The system now allows the user (subject to appopriate permissions) to modify the pet for a finalised invoice item. This facility is disabled by default. Note insurance claim print-outs and electronic submissions do not indicate the associated pet for each invoice item included in the claim and so there is no need to use this facility to ensure consistency within an insurance claim.

  • The edit panel for configuration table screens is now automatically scrolled when excessively large – this helps when adjusting configuration for tables with a large number of fields.

  • An option Open takings period has been added to the right-click menu for client transactions allowing the user to easily open the cashing-up screen for takings period containing the transaction.

  • It is now configurable whether or not a clinial note is automatically created by the system whenever a pet weight is updated via the pet details screen. The default behaviour remains that no note is created.

  • The fields species, breed, colour, and insured appearing on the pet details screen can now be configured individually to allow arbitrary text entry – if the entered text does not match an existing option then a new option is automatically created . The default behaviour remains that the fields are constrained to match the existing options only.

  • A new facility has been added allowing allocation of payments against individual invoice items. By default this facility is suppressed.

  • When printing an account statement comprising non-allocated transactions only, the system no longer prompts to ask the user whether a saved copy is required, and instead checks the printed copy and client doc checkboxes to determine what output is required.

  • Added option to allow printing of all associated invoices when printing the details of an insurance claim.

  • Improved handling of the active pet – for any given client, the open invoice screen tracks the currently active pet and this is updated whenever a pet details or clinical history screen is displayed.

For further information re. version numbers etc. see the earlier post.

Version 1.15.3789 onwards

  • PAYE changes for new tax year 2010/2011

  • The default options when printing account statements are now configurable

  • Automatic debtor handling facilities extended to allow sending of multiple account statements, and extended options available for style of account statement printed (whether itemised or from last zero balance etc.)

  • Added facility creating automatic system messages to DiaryAdministrator when any changes to diary entries are made

  • Tidied shutdown processing so as to avoid inappropriate error messages when closing

  • Identified and resolved some rare but annoying behaviour in which system temporarily had a go-slow

  • Label printer handling extended to include support for Brother QL-500 (and more generally any label printer with a Windows driver) and for variable size labels including cut-to-size labelling when using continuous label tape (as can be used on the Brother QL-500)

For further information re. version numbers etc. see the earlier post.

Version 1.14.3706 onwards

  • The order log display is now configurable and is disabled by default.

  • The system now checks for an invalid/corrupt image file when saving an new document (whether a office, client or contact document).

  • The grid display lists on all screens now resize allowing better use of the now widely available widescreen monitors.

  • The appointments screen now supports mixed consulting session lengths.

  • The Practice Accounts now provides a Balances at .. facility – simply right-click the list of accounts and select. This prints a listing of system calculated balances for all accounts on the supplied date.

  • Key words and phrases can now be high-lighted via bold text in clinical histories.
    This is intended to work analogously to bold mode in Microsoft Word and can be applied in several ways.

    • Whilst entering text in a clinical note (in any of the HX, EX, DDX, PL, TX or MISC boxes) bold mode can be switched on or off by right-clicking and selecting the (only) option
      toggle highlight

    • If there is no text currently selected then bold mode is either enabled or disabled at the current position of the cursor – if bold mode enabled then any new text typed will be in bold

    • If there is text selected then the entire selection will be made bold or not (if already partly bold then it will become completely bold – if completely bold it will revert to regular)

    • Note the key combination CTRL+B is a shortcut for
      right-click and toggle highlight and also that Microsoft’s standard mouse conventions apply in the edit box – so for example you can select a word in the box by simply double-clicking the word and then make this bold by pressing the CTRL & B keys at the same time. It is hoped that users will find it easy & useful to write the clinical note and then highlight key words in this way.
  • The system now makes additional effort to bring overdue booster reminders to the attention of the user.
    There is an existing client alert and pet alert facility – on the client details screen there is a client alert field and if this is non-empty then a message prompt containing the alert text will display whenever a screen related to that client (details, open invoice, account history, etc.) is first opened. Note the alert only displays once, but if the details screen is closed (with all subscreens) and then reopened then the alert will redisplay. The pet alert functions similarly but displays only when a pet details screen is displayed or the pet is made the active pet (eg selected for invoicing purposes).

    The pet alert has been enhanced by using it to display either the user entered pet alert text, or a prompt when any booster reminders that are currently due exist, or both. What
    currently due means is configurable on a per reminder type basis but for a typical vaccination the suggestion is to use something like either due within the next month or was due within the last 3 months.

    The clinical history screen for an animal (which is where new clinical notes are created) displays at the bottom of the screen all regular treatments and all reminders for the pet. These lists can be optionally hidden or displayed by the user but are now set to always initially display when the clinical history screen is first opened (this behaviour is configurable on a per practice basis). Also reminders are colour coded:

    RED: overdue

    ORANGE: currently due

    GREEN: due in the future

    GREY: inactive eg because the pet is dead, transferred or rehomed (and if the first applies then no booster needed whereas if the latter two apply then the animal may well still need a booster but treatment should be recorded elsewhere and not under the current record.
    Note transferred is used when record still exists within the system i.e. transferred to another client, rehomed would be used when no longer owned by a client of the practice)

  • The server now checks that a network interface is available when starting.

  • A dial right-click option has been added to the contact list (obviously only relevant for those PCs linked to a phone line or phone).

For further information re. version numbers etc. see the earlier post.

Version 1.13.3607 onwards

  • In patient ops are now coloured blue on the operations screen to easily distinguish
    from day patients.

  • The EClaim submission service now supports attachments either at the time of submission or later whilst the claim is being processed. This allows easy uploading of invoices and any other relevant documents.

  • The payments screen now has a instant totalling facility.

  • The current order screen is now static and consequently should be easier to find.

For further information re. version numbers etc. see the earlier post.

Version 1.12.3576 onwards

  • On user change, the system prompts if the new user has any unread messages or overdue to do items. This can be suppressed at the global or the local level via the configuration flag SupressUnreadWarning.

  • To ensure adequate space is available for each, the unread message and overdue to do displays alternate on the bottom status bar. To revert to the original behaviour set the global configuration flag SeperateToDoPanel.

  • Recurrent to do can now be set as cancellable. This is set via the user interface for standard recurrences. For items created automatically via the document import presets the preset setting string must have its 8th parameter set to true.

  • When invoicing via a regular treatment and a label is required the system checks both the most recently produced label and the dosage instructions contained in the description of the regular treatment and prompts the user for which to use if these differ.

  • The system now supports EClaim submissions via the VetEnvoy gateway and conforming to the Vet-XML standard as sponsored by SPVS. This can be used to submit insurance claims to PetPlan and PetProtect – for further information and to activate the facility please contact Black Dog Software.

    Colour coding is used for EClaims: red if to submit, orange if submitted or processing, green if settled, and yellow if declined.

  • The message system can now be configured to automatically send emails to selected message recipients.

  • Financial entries, eg. copies of statements, estimates, and invoices, on a client’s notes and documents screen are now coloured blue to help distinguish them from other entries.

For further information re. version numbers etc. see the earlier post.

Version 1.12.3545 onwards

  • The debtor administration screen now includes a bad debt write-off facility. The default effect of this is to: (1) write-off any client balance via the bad debt:
    written off
    service fee; (2) change the client status to DEBTOR; and (3) to append a message to the client’s alert field indicating that a bad debt has been written off together with the amount and the date.

  • A new document type PSS SOPs has been added and several template documents added to the office documents screen – these documents derive from various standard operating protocols that were used at Arbury Road Vets (run by the directors of Black Dog Software between 1999 and 2008) and formed part of the required evidence for approval under the RCVS Practice Standards Scheme.

For further information re. version numbers etc. see the earlier post.