Here's a list of key differences from the previous version of HS ("HS3") and other things to know.
For the most part in HS4, every animal is attached to an appointment. In HS3, there was a loose relationship between appointments and animals--you could have one without the other, and this led to some duplication and ambiguities between different parts of the system.
It's possible to enter an animal in HS4 with no appointment, but impractical because that animal would have no services. In HS4, services are attached to appointments so that the paperwork for each appointment shows only the services for that appointment. In HS3, services were attached to the animal as a whole, and therefore the entire service history appeared on the Animal Summary with no good way of distinguishing separate appointments over time.
Breeds must be chosen from a dropdown list rather than typed in free text. If a breed is missing from the list, clinic managers may add it here: Breed List. Note that this list is shared by all clinics, so your changes will impact everyone. To indicate mix breeds, a new Mix Breed checkbox is provided.
Because many breeds entered in HS3 won't match the HS4 breed list (due to myriad variations in spelling encountered), the breed field can be empty in HS4 even if it was entered in the old system. Your old entry will be preserved in a custom field called HS3 Breed, and that custom field will display on appointment-related paperwork.
Animal custom fields in HS3 are not as easily usable in HS4, and usually need to be reconfigured. The simplest thing to do is go to Setup >> Options >> Custom Fields >> Import Patient Fields and continue with instructions there.
To enable meaningful reporting on animal ages, the HS3 Age field has been replaced with a Birth Date and Age Group dropdown. The 'Younger than 5 months' checkbox has also been removed because the new Age Group dropdown has a 'Juvenile' option that refers to animals under 5 months old. During data entry, you must either enter a birth date or select an age group. It's pretty easy to enter a birth date using the birth date selector, but you cannot enter something like 2m for "2 months" or 8 wks for "8 weeks".
Transaction descriptions are no longer required. When entering a payment or deposit, it's no longer necessary to enter any text in the description. It's still a good idea to enter check numbers in the description field, but it's not necessary for cash, credit, or debit transactions.
The copay feature is still present, but works a bit differently in HS4, and the term "copay" has been replaced with "bill to". (However, you can still say "copay" and I'll know what you mean.) Basically, instead of "copaying" a service, you "bill to" a volume client. In the screenshot below, you can see a Cat Spay service that has been billed to a volume client WCHS. The owner portion is $0, and the invoiced portion is $45. In HS4, a service is always listed once, and its billed portions--as many as you want-- are listed below indented. New Owner and Invoiced columns make it easier to see who's paying what portion. The other advantage of this approach is that reports may now combine item counts and dollars in one report. (This was not possible in HS3 because copays had to be excluded from counts, but included in the dollar total. That asymmetric criteria would have made reports overly complicated and hard to support over time.)
To bill or copay a service, look for the bill to... link next to the Owner price portion of a service. You select a transport or grant, enter a amount, and click Add Billing. The bill to link appears only when the other portion is greater than $0.
Delete a billing/copay just like any other service by clicking the delete link off to the right. This returns the charge back to the owner.