Table of Contents
PLEASE READ THIS SECTION BEFORE TRYING TO DO A MAIL MERGE
A. Mail Merge Summary B. Creating the Data File 1. Naming the File 2. Client Criteria 3. Patient Criteria 4. Processing the File C. Word Perfect 1. Accessing Word Perfect 2. Merge Codes 3. Creating a Letter 4. Creating a Postcard 5. Merging and Printing D. Lyrix 1. Accessing Lyrix 2. Merge Codes 3. Creating a Letter 4. Creating a Postcard 5. Merging and Printing E. Printing Mailing Labels F. Electronic Mail G. V/Base Mailings 1. Summary 2. Creating the Database 3. Creating the Command file 4. Create the Do File 5. Performing the Merge 6. Selection Utilities 7. Using Lyrix or Wordperfect 8. Additional Key File Options 9. Recall Merge
PLEASE NOTE: Beginning with Release 5.0 of V/BOSS there are two different ways to do targeted mailings. The first is described on the next several pages and is the Mailing that has been part of earlier releases V/BOSS. The second is V/Base Mailings and is documented at the end of this chapter.
The purpose of a mail merge is to send selected Clients or Patients a personalized letter or postcard. You can select on various information pertaining to the Client or the Patient. The ten special fields can be searched for specific information, the Patients' ages can be grouped together for sending geriatric letters, past due letters can be selected from the Clients A/R balances, and welcome letters can be generated from the Clients registered date to name a few examples. Further on in this chapter we will explain all criteria that can be selected.
The basic functions that take place during a mail merge are:
While selecting the Clients or Patients V/BOSS is actually building a file with various information about your selections. The name of the file is "MERGE.DAT" unless you have specified a different file name.
After V/BOSS has searched your files and selected all the Patients or Clients who satisfy the criteria you have established, the file is stored and you are returned to the "V/BOSS MAILING SELECTION MENU". Exit V/BOSS and bring up your word processor. If Lyrix is your Word Processor, you do not have to Exit from V/BOSS, you may enter Lyrix by selecting [L] from the Mailing Selection Menu.
MAKE SURE TO TURN TO THE CORRECT WORD PROCESSING SECTION OF THIS MANUAL WHEN YOU CREATE YOUR LETTER OR POSTCARD (e.g., LYRIX SECTION FOR LYRIX, WORD PERFECT SECTION FOR WORD PERFECT).
If using Lyrix, you will first need to make a copy of a master document, "postexam", "pdsexam", or "custexam", which you will rename. The document is actually created while the copy is being performed. You will then enter into the new document which you have created and edit it to fit your particular needs. Be sure to refer to the Lyrix section of this chapter for information on using variables in the mailings to personalize them.
If using Word Perfect, you will only need to make a copy of a master document if you want to send a postcard. That document is named "postcard". If sending a letter, you will create a new document. See the Word Perfect section of this chapter for information on using the Merge Codes to personalize your mailings.
After you have completed editing the document you have created with the word processor you will then merge it with the file that was created by V/BOSS. The process which is taking place during the merge is that your word processor is scanning the letter or postcard you typed with the word processor (file name of your choice) and extracting from the V/BOSS file the required information needed to personalize each letter for the selected Clients or Patients.
It is important to note that sufficient space must be available on your hard disk to write the file that will result from the database selection. You should plan on 400 bytes of data per selected record.
To create the Data File, that is, the file of selected Clients or Patients, select [4) File Maintenance from the V/BOSS Main Menu, arrow right twice to Communications and press <Enter> on Mailings. Select (C] Continue to Mail-Merge Section. You will see, "/usr/ PLEASE ENTER THE NAME OF THE MERGE FILE".
If using Lyrix, enter [/usr/lyrix/XXXXXXXX), replacing the X's with whatever you want to name this file. If using Word Perfect, enter [/usr/wp5/XXXXXXXX], replacing the X's with whatever you want to name this file. You may not use spaces in the file names. Do not use ".DOC" as the ending of a file name. If you typed a document name that you have used before, the message "FILE ALREADY EXISTS MAY I ERASE?" will display. If you wish to keep the information that was selected from the last merge you would answer N and enter a new file name. Reply with a Y if there is no reason to save the old data.
After entering the file name, you must choose whether the criteria used to create the file will be based on Client or Patient information. Enter  for Clients or  for Patients. This section will discuss the Client criteria.
After pressing , the following menu will display. We will first explain what each selection is. Further instructions will be given in section 4. Processing the File.
Select on Accounts Receivable allows you to target the Clients who owe money to the Clinic. You may further narrow down this selection by targeting accounts that have been outstanding for a certain length of time. This can be the Total Amount Due, or the accounts Current, over 30, 60, or 90 old. You would indicate which "bucket" by entering a number  - .
Next, you may enter the "TARGETED AMOUNT". This means if you type [95.00], and selected  Greater then 90, V/BOSS would search the master file, and extract all Clients who have accounts with greater that $95.00 owed for greater than 90 days.
Select on Amount Billed targets Clients based on the amount of money spent. You may specify '1Year to Date" or "Total" sales.
You must then specify whether the selection will be based on dollar values greater than or less than the target amount. That is, you have the ability to choose those Clients/patients that have either generated more or less than the amount to be keyed in. (In reality, to be specific, not less than, and not more than the amount keyed in.)
Then you need to enter the "TARGET AMOUNT".
In the examples shown, the first will select those Patients who have generated at lease $95.00 total business at your clinic. The second example will select those Clients who have not spent more that $125.00 this year.
Select on Last Visit allows you to target Clients whose Last visit occurred during a date range that you specify.
Select on Date Registered allows you to target Clients whose First visit occurred during a date range that you specify.
Select on 1st Byte of Comments If you manually flag particular Client records by putting the same character in the first position of their Comment Line, you may target those Client's for Mail Merging. V/BOSS will prompt you to "Enter Search Byte". You should enter whatever character you used to flag the record. In the following example, we will be searching for all Clients that have an [*] in the first position of the comment line on the Client Screen.
Select on Special Fields allows you to use information under any of the Client Special Fields to target Clients. You will first choose which field you wish V/BOSS to look at. Then you will enter the specific data to target. We will give an example using the "Refer" field.
First enter the field number, in this example, . Then choose the comparison parameters. Use the down arrow to change the parameter.
There are six choices:
We chose 5 If GREATER. You must then enter the comparison value. If greater than what? For this example will enter 0, 50 that anyone who has made ANY references will be selected. Finally, you may have V/BOSS alter the Special Field of any Client who is selected. In our example we will replace the number of referrals with the word "SENT". Many different Mail Merge selections are possible through use of the Special Fields.
Select All Clients obviously, will target ALL Clients, however, V/BOSS will ask if you wish to "Include Inactives ?? N". If you want the inactive accounts included in the mailing answer [Y] or press <Enter> to except the default of [N].
To create a Data File based on Patient criteria, from the Main menu select  File Maintenance,  Mailing Selection, (C) Continue to Mail Merge section, enter your file name, then choose  Patients. When you use Patient information for your criteria you may choose to have V/BOSS treat the Mail Merge as if it were a Recall postcard mailing. This would cause the Date Notified field on the Patient screen to be updated. Also, when the Patient returned to the Clinic, any income from that visit would be included as "Recall Income".
Select on Amount Billed and Select on Last Visit are the same as these choices for the Client except that Patient information is used instead of Client information.
To select on species, sex, breed, or age of Patients, select  from the Patient Selection Menu. The screen below will be displayed:
To select data for Patients, mark an [X] next to each field that applies. For example, to select all non-spayed, non-neutered Felines over 6 months old, put an [X] beside "Male", "Female", and "Feline." To indicate a particular breed, type the name (not the abbreviation) in the blank beside "BREED." To indicate a maximum age, enter a year (yy) for "DATE OF BIRTH NOT BEFORE 19 YY"; to indicate a minimum age, enter a year (yy) for "NOT AFTER 19 YY." You may enter, either, or both dates. To move about the screen, use the arrow keys.
To select on Porcine, Bovine, Caprine or other, enter the letter that corresponds to the Species in the field marked Other. The screen displayed below is an example of how to select all bovines.
Select on Date Registered is also just like this selection for Clients except that it looks at the Patient's first visit date.
Select On Special Fields again works the same as this selection for Clients, but you will use the information under the Patient's Special fields.
We will use the following example to illustrate how to select on a Patient's special field. To send a letter to all Patients who have Boarded in the past, we will select on field number . The parameter will be 1 IF EQUAL. The comparison value is [Y]. The next prompt allows you to change the field entry when found, by entering a new value at this time. By using the space bar and clearing this field [Y] will not show under the Patient's special field 08 anymore.
Select ALL ACTIVE Patients selects all Patients whose status is not I or D.
Select on Clinical Records. If you are unsure what the Clinical Records are, please first review the chapter CLINICAL RECORDS in this guide. This Mailing Selection looks in the Patient's Clinical Records for whatever Procedure Name (NOT code) or Diagnostic abbreviation that you desire. Enter  Select Who Has this Record.
Enter the Procedure NAME EXACTLY as it appears in the Procedure file, or the Diagnostic code EXACTLY as it appears in the abbreviation file. You may lookup the Procedure name by pressing <F4>. You may lookup the Diagnostics by pressing <F5>. When you see what you want, use the arrow keys to highlight it and press <Enter>.
Use Specific Selection Criteria. From this menu:
[F] will select all Felines who have never had a Feline Leukemia lab test or injections.
[R] will select all Patients who have not had a Rabies vaccination during the time period that you specify. After pressing [R], enter the starting and ending dates for the time period you desire in the format yymmdd.
[Y] will select all Patients who have had shots other than Rabies during a time period that you specify. After pressing [Y], enter the starting and ending dates in the format yymmdd.
[N] will select all Patients who have NOT had shots other than Rabies during a time period that you specify. After pressing [N], enter the starting and ending dates in the format yyddmm.
[C) see next page. [U] see next page.
[D] will select only deceased Patients. [I] will select only inactive Patients.
[B] will select all Patients born in the month you specify, excluding those born during the current year. After pressing [B], enter a number 1-12 which corresponds with the month you want to select.
To count and print occurrences of data in the Patient specified fields, select [C] from the Patient Specific Menu. After entering [C], V/BOSS will prompt you to "ENTER P FOR PATIENT C FOR CLIENT <Fl> ABORT". If you enter [P] the Patient special fields will be displayed where you enter the option number that you want to select. For example, if you want to select on TEMP enter  and the following will print.
|Note: Before you begin processing this report make sure your printer is on line and paper is in the printer.|
If you enter [C] the Client special fields will be displayed where you enter the option number that you want to select. For example, if you want to select on CODE enter  and the following will print.
Selection [L] will cause V/BOSS to print a list of the Clients or Patients with anything under a special field that you specify. The list will include Client name, account number and phone numbers, Patient name if selection is on Patient and what occurrence is in each individual's special field. Clients or Patients whose field is empty will not be included on the list.
Decide what selection criteria you wish to use. From the appropriate Mailing Selection Menu (Clients or Patients) select the desired choice and make appropriate entries as prompted. When all prompts have been answered the system will search through the database for Clients/patients who meet the criteria. You will see displayed on the screen the number Selected and Bypassed. After the selection is done you will be given the choice to sort on Zip Code or Last Name.
Phase 1 Complete.. Enter [Z] for Zip Code or [N] for Last Name Sort <Fl> Abort
If the selection was based on Patient information you will see:
Enter [C] for 1 card Per Client or [P] for 1 card per Patient._
This is so, for example, if you are sending a letter to all dog owners, you do not have to generate more than 1 letter for someone who owns several dogs.
If you have Vpf, you will now see:
Produce File in Upper or Lower (standard) Case ? Enter U or L _
Enter [U] to have the names, etc. inserted into your mailing in all uppercase letters. Enter [U] to have the mailing all in standard form (initial caps where needed). NOTE: The abbreviation .vpar must exist with [Y] as the text for names, addresses, etc. to be produced in standard case.
At this time the file is being created on the selected criteria. Phase Two may take a few minutes, please be Patient and do not start pressing keys before you see the message:
Phase TWO Now Complete !! Depress any key to continue!
The Data File is created and saved in your Word Processor when Phase Two is completed. You are now ready to turn to the appropriate Section for your Word Processor to create your letter or postcard file and then Merge the two files to produce the mailing.
In this V/BOSS Operator's Guide we will present you with an overview of how to use Word Perfect to create correspondence for Mail Merging. However, we STRONGLY recommend that you take some time to use your Word Perfect Manuals and become familiar with some basic commands before beginning your Mail Merge document. Word Perfect has many capabilities that will not be mentioned here.
From the Main Monitor hold down <Alt> and press <F3>. You should see xenix386!login. Type [wp5]<Enter>. This will bring up the Word Perfect software. You will be at a blank page, ready to start typing. Consult the Word Perfect manual for information on changing default margins, tab stops, etc.
When creating a letter or postcard to be used for Mail Merging, you must insert Merge Codes to personalize the mailing for each individual receiving it. On the following page is a listing of the Merge Codes currently available and what variable each represents.
|WORD PERFECT||MERGE CODES|
|2~||Client first & last name|
|3~||Client title & last name|
|5~||Client first name|
|6~||Client last name|
|7~||Client first address line|
|8~||Client second address line|
|9~||City, State Zip Code|
|13~||Client home telephone number|
|14~||Client business telephone number|
|15~||Client business name|
|16~||Client last visit date|
|17~||Client date registered|
|18~||Client status (Active, Inactive)|
|19~||Client Accounts Receivable value|
|20~||Client Total sales|
|21~||Client Year-to-date sales|
|24~||Patient sex (M, F, MC, MN, FS, FN)|
|31~||Patient birth date|
|32~||Patient last visit date|
|33~||Patient date registered|
|34~||Patient status (Active, Inactive, Deceased)|
|35~||Last Provider Patient saw|
|36~||Patient Total sales|
|37~||Patient Year-to-date sales|
DO NOT GIVE WORD PERFECT DOCUMENTS THE SAME NAME THAT YOU GAVE THE DATA FILE IN V/BOSS!!!!! THE NAMES MAY BE SIMILAR, BUT NOT EXACTLY THE SAME.
You must type your letter exactly as you want it to appear on the paper, except that you must insert Merge Codes wherever you want a variable to be used. To insert a Merge Code, place the cursor where you want a variable to be used. Hold down <Shift> and press <F9>. Displayed at the bottom of the screen will be:
1 Field 2 End Record 3 Input 4 Page Off 5 Next Record 6 More:0
Press . You will see:
Type the NUMBER that corresponds to the variable you want to use at this point and press <Enter>. The Merge Code will then be inserted. Below is an example of a partial letter created for Mail Merging. Following that is an example of a letter that would be produced.
DO NOT GIVE WORD PERFECT DOCUMENTS THE SAME NAME THAT YOU GAVE THE DATA FILE IN V/BOSS!!!!! THE NAMES MAY BE SIMILAR, BUT NOT EXACTLY THE SAME.
If you purchased Word Perfect from CRT Systems, it included a document called "postcard". This is a sample document that has been created with the correct parameters to print on a 4 x 6 postcard (same size as the Recall postcards). If you want to send a postcard for your Mail Merge, you should make a copy of this "postcard" document and edit the copy. (The reason we as you to make a copy of the document is so you always have the correct format available) To do so, press <F5> to List files. Press enter to accept the /usr/wp5/* directory. You should see a document listed as "postcard". Use the arrow keys to highlight it, then press  to Copy. You will be prompted to enter a name for the copy. After naming the copy you should press <F7> to escape, then List Files again, highlight the copy and press  to Retrieve. You may then edit the copy to say what you want to say. Use the Merge Codes in the manner described in the Creating a Letter section. However, be careful NOT TO DISTURB the postcard format. If you do it will not print on the postcards correctly.
When you have finished typing your letter or postcard, press <F7> to save it and exit from it. Be sure to name it if this is the first time you have saved it.
To perform the merge it is necessary to be at a blank page. Hold down <Ctrl> and press <F9> for Merge/sort. At the bottom of the screen you will see:
1 Merge; 2 Sort
Press  for Merge. You will be prompted to enter the primary file name. This is the name of your letter or postcard. Then you must enter the name of the secondary file. This is the data file created in V/BOSS. After entering the secondary file name, Word Perfect will merge the two documents into a third document. You will be at the BOTTOM of the merged document when merging is complete. Press <Home><Home><UpArrow> so that you are at the TOP of the document. (You may scroll through the document before printing if you wish, but be sure to press <Home><Home><UpArrow> before attempting to print.)
To print the letters or postcards, load the correct forms in the printer (if using postcards, be sure to use the tractor adapter). When the printer is ready, hold down <Shift> and press <F7>. If necessary, [S]elect the printer then enter how much of the document you want printed.
After printing the mailing, DO NOT SAVE THE MERGED DOCUMENT! It will take up too much disk space. You can always merge the two files again if necessary. Press <F7> to exit and when asked if you want to save the document answer [N].
Processing and printing of mailing labels is discussed after the Lyrix section of this chapter.
In this V/BOSS Operator's Guide we will present you with an overview of how to use Lyrix to create correspondence for Mail Merging. However, we STRONGLY recommend that you take some time to use your Lyrix Manual and/or Tutorial to become familiar with some basic commands before beginning your Mail Merge document. Lyrix has many capabilities that will not be mentioned here.
To bring up your Lyrix Word Processing software from the Main Monitor hold down <Alt> and press <F3>. You should see xenix386!login. Type [lyrix]<Enter>. Wait a moment for the Lyrix Main Office System Menu to display.
To move among the menu items, you may use the <Up or Dn Arrow>. This will highlight each item one by one. When the function you wish to perform is highlighted, you may choose it by pressing <Enter>. OR you may type the first letter of the menu item and this item will be selected.
To perform a Mail Merge with Lyrix you must have a data file, which is created from V/BOSS (discussed in the first section of this chapter) and a text file which is a letter or postcard created in Lyrix. The text file may be created by you and should have variables in it wherever the document should be personalized. The list of currently available variables is on the following page.
Below is a list of variable names you may use and what will appear in your letter as a result. Remember to type the variables in your letter as they appear here.
|Variable:||What will be inserted:|
|_name||Client first and last name|
|_greeting||Client last name and title|
|_c-first||Client first name|
|_c-last||Client last name|
|_address||Client street address|
|_address2||Client second address line|
|_city-s-zip||City, State Zip|
|_telephone||Client Home Telephone Number|
|_bus-tele||Client Business Telephone Number|
|_bus-name||Client Business Name|
|_c-lst-vis||Client Last Visit date|
|_c-date-reg||Date Customer was registered|
|_c-status||Client Status (active, inactive)|
|_cust-ar||Accounts Receivable for Client|
|_c-tot-sales||Customer Total Sales|
|_c-ytd-sales||Customer Year to Date Sales|
|_pet-sex||M, F, MC, MN, FS, FN|
|_pet-species||dog, cat, or species if other|
|_pet-birth||Patient Birth Date|
|_pet-lst-vis||Patient Last Visit|
|_pet-d-reg||Date Patient Registered|
|_pet-status||(A)ctive, (I)nactive, (D)eceased|
|_pet-seen-by||Last Provider Patient Saw|
|_pet-tot-sales||Patient Total Sales|
|_pet-ytd-sales||Patient Year-to-Date Sales|
In order for a Mail Merging to occur the text file MUST contain a Variable Listing. The easiest way to ensure that a correct list is in your document is to make a copy of one of the sample documents provided with your system. DO NOT ALTER THE SAMPLE DOCUMENTS! That way you will always have documents to use.
In your Lyrix files is a file named "custexam" and another named "pdsexam". Either of these may be copied to use for letters.
In your Lyrix files is a file named "postexam". This sample may be copied and used for a postcard. In addition to having the necessary Variable Listing, this file is formatted to print correctly on a 4 x 6 postcard (same size as the Recall postcards). Be careful NOT TO DISTURB this format. If you do, the postcards will not print properly.
To copy one of these documents, from the Lyrix Main Menu select Edit. Choose one of the files either by typing the name or by pressing the down arrow key first then any arrow key to highlight the file then press <Enter>.
The first section of this document gives you instructions for copying it. Since this is a sample letter for you to always have as a reference, you need to copy it so that you can edit the copy and not the original "custexam". To do this, press <Esc>[x] in quick succession. This will save this file and copy it to another file. You will be prompted to:
Enter name of file: ____________________
Type in the name you want to give the new file. Any name (with no spaces) not currently listed is acceptable EXCEPT, DO NOT NAME THE FILE Lyrix OR ANY OTHER NAME STARTING WITH Lyrix! If you do you will be unable to access Lyrix again. You should also NOT give the file the same name as the Data file, though something similar is fine. The file name may not contain spaces. After you enter the name Lyrix will copy the original file to a file with this name. You will still be in the original document. Press <Esc>[q] to exit from it and press <Spacebar> to return to the Main menu.
Choose the "Edit" function again. Then enter or highlight and <Enter> the name of the file you just created. You should see exactly what you saw when you entered the sample document. You may delete the beginning paragraph if you wish, but BE CAREFUL not to delete any of the Variables. It is not necessary to delete this paragraph as it will not print when you do the Mail Merge.
Again, DO NOT ALTER THE VARIABLE SECTION OF THE DOCUMENT!! Either Page Down or Arrow Down to get to the letter section of your file.
You may now type over this letter with a letter of your own, inserting variable names wherever necessary. Or you may simply modify the letter, or use it as is. When inserting a variable, it should be typed exactly as it appears in the list in section B. of the Lyrix section in this chapter. The letter should be typed exactly as you wish it to appear when printed. See the Lyrix manuals for information on changing margins, tab stops, etc. On the following page is an example of a letter created for Mail Merging. Following that is an example of a letter that would be produced.
When finished typing the letter, press <Esc>[e] to save and exit.
When you are ready to print the postcards or letters, load the correct forms in the printer (if using postcards be sure to use the Tractor Adapter).
From the Lyrix Main Menu choose [P] Printing and Mail Merge Menu. Then select [M] Mergescn.
The Use Mail Merge Screen will be displayed. If your text file is listed on the line, press <Enter>. If it is not, either type it and press <Enter> or highlight it and press <Enter>. The Mail Merge Set-Up Screen will be displayed. Your letter or postcard should be shown as the name of the text file. Press <Enter> to accept it and move down to the data file line.
Type in the name of the data file that you created from V/BOSS and press <Enter>. Type [D] in the "Print or save in file?" field to save this merged document in a file. If you wish, you may ARROW over to the "Maximum copies to print:" field and change the number to print to 2 or 3 to make sure they are going to print the way you want them. You should not change any other default responses unless you are sure of what you are doing.
When you have completed this screen, make sure the printer is ready and type <Esc>[a] (the [a] MUST be lower case) to begin printing. It may take a few moments for the printing to begin, as merging takes place first. Please be patient!!!! Do not be alarmed if the screen goes blank. When merging is completed you will be prompted to type <Space> to continue. When this happens, just press the <Spacebar> once to return to the Lyrix Menu.
Printing mailing labels does not involve a word processor. It is done through V/BOSS. Essentially you will make your Mailing selection again. To be clear, if you are sending a Mail merge letter or postcard, you will go through the selection process TWICE, once to create the merge file and again to print labels. When you are ready to print labels, load the labels in the printer. From the V/BOSS Main Menu select  File Maintenance, arrow right twice to Communications and press <Enter> on Mailings and then [C] Continue to Mail Merge section. Type [PRINTER] as the file name. proceed to choosing your selection criteria and responding to any associated prompts. After the criteria is selected, you will see:
To print the labels on the system default printer, press <Enter>. To print on a different printer, look at the paper label taped to the printer and type in the device, for example, [/dev/tty1a]<Enter>. Do NOT type the part that says "printer" or "altpr", etc. If you want the labels written to a file so that you may print them later, type [/usr/RM2/LABDATA]. REMEMBER, Do Not type the brackets!!
If printing now, after entering the desired printer, make sure the printer is ready and press <Enter> again. Alignment labels will print and you will be prompted, "ALIGNMENT CORRECT? Y/N". If you need more alignment labels to print, press [N]. Press [Y] when the labels are aligned correctly. Wait for Phase 1 to be complete. When it is, enter [Z] for the labels to be printed in Zip code order or [N] for alphabetical order. You should have them printed in the same order that you chose for the letters/postcards. The labels will begin printing immediately after making this choice.
If you are writing the labels to the file /usr/RM2/LABDATA, after typing this file name, press <Enter> twice. Wait for Phase 1 to be complete. When it is, enter [Z] for the labels to be printed in Zip code order or [N] for alphabetical order. You should have them printed in the same order that you chose for the letters/postcards. When ready to print, load the labels in the printer. From the Main Menu select [P] Print Report on File. Then press [p] print other report. When prompted to enter the Path of the report type [/dev/RM2/LABDATA]<Enter>. The labels will begin printing, preceded by 5 alignment labels, so be ready to press the select button so you can line up the labels (like when you print recalls).
Note: If a Client's comment line begins with "*", an "*" will be printed on the right side of the label.
In the multi-user environment there is a special mailing feature which allows you to send and receive messages to and from other terminals.
If you have created the abbreviation Mail you will be alerted that mail is pending when logging on to V/BOSS and from the Client Search screen. A message will display requesting; "Please Read your Mail". To access, select  File Maintenance from the Main Menu, arrow right twice to Communications and press <Enter> on Mailings. If you have mail pending, a number will be flashing in the line "R to READ your mail - pending". To read the mail type [R]. Each message will be numbered and show which terminal it came from and the subject of the message.
1 main Fri Nov 17 08:57 7/157 "Rabies Vacc Shipment"
2 ibm0l Fri Nov 17 12:10 10/231 "Carol leaving early"
To view a message, type the number that appears beside it and press <Enter>. After reading the message you may save, forward, reply to, or delete it. To keep the message in Mail (save it) hold down <Ctrl> and depress <d>. The message 'Held 2 messages in /usr/spool/mail/ibm01 will display. Depress <enter> to return to the Mail screen.
To forward Mail to another terminal, follow the above steps for viewing. Instead of depressing <Ctrl> and [d], type [f] <space bar> and the terminal ID you wish to forward the mail to.
Example: [f ibmO2] then depress <Enter>.
The mail has now been transferred to the specified terminal. The system will still save the mail in your mailbox and it can be removed by following the steps in the next paragraph.
To delete Mail while in the viewing mode type [d] and depress <enter>. The mail has now been deleted. Then hold down <Ctrl> and type [d] to return to the Mail menu.
To reply to a message, while in the viewing mode type [r] <Enter>. Then type your reply. When finished, hold down <Ctrl> and press [d] to return to the Mail menu.
To send a message to another terminal select [S] from the Mailing Selection Menu. Enter the terminal ID for the terminal to which the message is to be sent. The word Subject will display and you may type the subject of the message. Press <Enter> and then type your message. When finished, press <Enter> then hold down <Ctrl> and press [d].
With V/Base you may do targeted mailings and use your Lyrix or Word Perfect word processor, but it is also possible to generate a targeted mailing without a separate word processor. That is, you may create not only a data file of Clients and Patients with V/Base, you may also create letters, postcards, labels, etc. This method may, at first, seem more complex (especially since you may use far more varied criteria for your selection), however, after generating a mailing the first time, you should find V/Base very simple to use.
To do a targeted mailing with V/Base you will create three files:
It is STRONGLY recommended that you read this entire section before attempting to generate your first V/Base Mail Merge!!!
NOTE: The Keys file contains only summary information about V/BOSS data. The data is subsequently output, the Keys file is read and the data is extracted from the MAIN database (Patient/Client File) at the time the data is output(ed). Therefore, if you wish to have dynamic data (YTD Amounts) output, you must do so immediately after the Keys file is created and before any additional transactions are performed. This is done as a space saving feature, otherwise, the size of the Keys file(s) would be huge.
To create the database (also called the key file), from the V/BOSS Main menu select  File Maintenance, arrow right twice to Communications and select V/Base Selections[Vpf]. The screen pictured above will display. This screen shows the currently selected criteria for creating the database. The default name of the database that will be created is [MWORK]. If you wish to give the database a different name, you should arrow right to General and select File, then Create New Key File. Enter a file name of up to eight characters. You are now ready to modify any of the Client and/or Patient selection criteria that you wish. If you wish V/Base to only consider Client information, arrow right to General and select Only Client Data.
To make changes to the Client criteria, arrow right to Clients. Select any of the displayed criteria. For most, another menu will display with the choices or parameters for this selection. For example, if you select Client Status, another menu will display which allows you to specify Active, Inactive or All (which selects BOTH active and inactive). If you select Zip Codes, you will be prompted to enter a starting and ending zip code.
A few selections have a slightly more complex menu system. Choose Client Special Fields from the Clients menu. You will see a new menu with two headings, Field-Name and Comparisons. First choose the Special Field that you wish to use for your key file (NOTE: you may select only one Special Field at a time, though you will be able to "re-sort" your key file with additional criteria if you wish). After choosing the field, arrow to Comparisons. Now you must tell V/Base what to look for in the Special Field. First choose a comparison value; Equal to, NOT Equal to, Less than, NOT Less than, Greater than, NOT Greater than. Then enter the specific comparison data. Finally, you may cause V/Base to replace the data in the selected fields with new data. If you leave the *'s in that field, the data will not be changed. For example, you might choose the Special Field labeled Refer, If Greater than, 3, replace with <spaces>. Press <FlO> to save your selections.
You may select and modify any of this criteria that you wish. This is one of the biggest advantages of V/Base over the mail merge discussed at the beginning of this chapter, you may select multiple criteria. Please note the new selections, "Registered Visit" which will select Clients whose Date Registered is the same as their Last Visit date (in other words, they came in only one time), and "Active Patient Count" which allows you to specify Clients who own a certain number of active Patients.
If you did not select "Only Client Data", you may also modify the selected Patient criteria. Arrow to Patients and select any of the displayed criteria. For most, another menu will display with the choices or parameters for this selection. For example, the selection "Species allows you to specify any combination of the defined species. After you select a species an asterisk (*) will appear next to the selection. If you choose "Select All" an asterisk will appear only beside that selection, not beside each species name. When you have completed your species choice, choose Quit Species Action to return to the main criteria selection menu.
New to V/Base is the selection "Notification Date". This selection is based on the date a Patient received a Recall postcard. If Notification is Off, then this data is not considered when the sort is processed. If you select "If Notified", you may then enter a date range. This will select Patients who received a Recall card during the specified time period. If you select "If NOT Notified", you also enter a date range. This will select Patients who did NOT receive a Recall card during that time period.
The Clinical Records selection has been expanded. Remember that Clinical Records are stored when a point of sale billing transaction is completed, so basically, you are selecting on Procedures performed (or not performed). In addition you may select on Problems or Notations that have been manually entered into Clinical Records. You may now specify more than one Procedure at a time and you may select either Patients who DO have the Procedure in their Clinical Records or Patients who do NOT have the Procedure in their Clinical Records. You also specify a time period for the selection.
After typing [Y] to select Patients who HAVE had a Procedure or [N] to select those who have NOT, you should enter the Procedure Code for the Procedure you are selecting. You may press <F4> for Procedure Lookup or <F5> to look up Diagnostic type abbreviations (that you may have used as Problems or Notations). You will then be prompted to enter the desired date range.
After you have chosen and modified all the criteria you wish to use for your key file, arrow to General on the main criteria selection menu. If you would like one record created for each Patient that meets the criteria, ensure that "Each Patient" has an asterisk beside it. If you prefer that only one record per Client (regardless of the number of their pets that meet the criteria) be created, select "1 Patient/Client".
At this point you will have created what we call a "filter". That is a set of criteria to be used to generate a key file (database). You may save this filter for later use. That way you will be able to generate a new database of Clients/Patients who meet this criteria at a later time, without having to re-select the criteria. To save the filter, select File from the General menu. Then select Save Current Filter. The filter will be saved as a type of Instruction file that you must name. The name MUST start with [!!], so type [!!xxxxxx], replacing the x's with up to six characters of your choice. If you wish, you may then make notes as to what this filter is for, when you last used it, etc. Press <F9> to save the filter.
You are now ready for V/Base to generate the key file. From the General menu select Process Sort Now! You will see the window pictured below which will show the progress of the processing. When the key file has been created, you will be prompted "Exit Now?", type [Y].
You are now ready to create the second file needed to do your mail merge, this is the Command File. From the V/BOSS Main menu select  File Maintenance, arrow right to Communications and select V/Base Output. You will see the screen below.
Select Instructions File Maint. and choose Add. You will be prompted to name the Command File. This file name MUST start with the characters [@@]. Type [@@XXXXXX] replacing the x's with up to six characters of your choice. It may be a good idea to name the file in such as way as to identify what type of form, e.g., label, letter, postcard, it will generate. Also, the $DoFile will be named with the [@@] characters, so you may want to use a name like [@@LABCMD] or [@@LETCMD) so you can easily tell the files apart. If you would like to work through an example of setting up a mailing label, type [@@LABCMD].
Remember, the purpose of this file is to establish the printing information for the output of your mail merge. You will be setting margins and form size, directing the output to a specific printer or screen and specifying the $DoFile. To access these commands you must press <F4> for Vpf Commands then V/Base Prog Menu.
NOTE: In order for the printing directives to work correctly, it is imperative that the last line of your Command File reads:
Below is a chart which describes each of the currently available directive commands. If a command appears in reverse video, it is under development and is not available at this time.
$DoFile+FileNam Use this $DoFile
$End End of Command File
$Comment+ Operator notation, does not print
$ReTop+FileNam File that defines the top of Recall Merge
$ReBot+FileNam File that defines the bottom of Recall Merge
$DoRecall+ File that runs the Recall Merge
$Comment+ Operator notation, does not print
$Out+VIDEO Display on screen
$Out+Billingpr Print on this workstation's Billing Printer
$Out+Systempr Print on System Printer
$KeysFile+ You may enter the Key File here rather than at the V/Base Info Window if desired
$KeysFilesort+ You may enter the desired sort order here if desired.
$Comment+ Operator notation, does not print
$Initialize Reset fields to defaults
$VpfParse+On Use Vpf Parsing
$VpfParse+Off Don't use Vpf Parsing
$FreeForm+On Adjusts spacing in reference to inserted data.
$FreeForm+Off Does NOT adjust spacing in reference to inserted data, in other words, columns would remain in alignment.
$Comment+ Operator notation, does not print
$S+001 Single space
$S+nnn Skip (nnn] number of lines
$S+Top Skip to top of page
$PageLen+nn Number of lines per page (length)
$LeftMargin+nn Number of spaces in left margin
$Perfskip+nn Skip [nn) lines above and below
$SkipTo+nnn Skip to [nnn] line on the page
$Comment+ Operator notation, does not print
An example appears below which shows how the @@LABCMD file would look if configured to print a 3 inch by 15/16 inch mailing label. Directive commands may be selected by either arrowing to one and pressing <Enter> or typing the number or letter that appears to the left of the desired command. After selecting a directive command, press <Enter> to move to the next line.
Notice that numbers have replaced n's in some of the commands. These specify the exact parameters, such as, $PageLen+06 indicates page length of 6 lines. Also, we have entered a $DoFile file name that we have not yet created. We will do that in the next section. The last line of the Command File MUST contain the directive $End. Press <F9> to save the Command File.
The $DoFile establishes the information that should be included on the form (label, letter, etc.) and how that information should be laid out. Assuming that you have just saved your Command File, you will still be at the Instruction Maintenance menu. Again select Add. This file name must also begin with [@@]. Type [@@xxxxxx] replacing the x's with up to six characters of your choice. If you are working through the example, type [@@LABEL] and press <Enter>. If the form you are creating is not the same width as a standard sheet of paper, you may change the Line Width. You must consider the character pitch you plan to use and the size of the form you specified in the Command File. If you are working through our label example, you should change the line width to 30 (3 inch wide label at 10 characters per inch). Press <F8> Menu, arrow right to Set Up, choose Line Size and enter .
NOTE: If you choose to use the "Center this line" command, you must not use any other Vpf command on the same line. Doing so is not supported.
Vpf Commands are used in a manner much like the variables in Lyrix or the merge codes in Word Perfect to cause V/Base to insert the desired information from the key file into the form you have created. The placement of the Vpf Commands in the $DoFile controls the placement of the information on the finished product. In other words, if you are creating a letter, label, or whatever, you should type exactly as you want it to appear when it they are printed. Wherever you want information inserted is where you should insert a Vpf Command. This is the equivalent of what you would type in a word processor if you were merging with one instead of V/Base.
To insert a Vpf Command, place the cursor where the Command should go and press <F4>. Do NOT select V/Base Prog Menu. You will see a menu that has many headings. You may choose Commands from any of these headings. One exception is the |DD/DD/DD| command, this command is to be used only in Medical Record Templates. It should not be used in V/Base. The Help selection will provide an explanation of each Command. The file shown on the next page will generate the label pictured below it. If you are working through our label example, your $DoFile should look just like this one. When you have completed your file, be sure to press <F9> to save it.
This special type of instruction file, contains 15 lines. Should you need more lines for your document, you may use the Link or Copy features that are detailed in chapter 25 VPF, section B.4.
The Client Number Command is ten spaces from the Client Salutation Command. The Salutation Command will insert the Client title and last name, if there is no title, then the first and last names are used. Note that the $End command is required in this file also. You may type it, or select it by pressing <F4>, choose V/Base Prog Menu and select it.
If you are still at the Instructions Maintenance menu, press <Fl> back to the V/Base Info Window. If you are at the V/BOSS Main menu select  File Maintenance, arrow right to Communications and select V/Base Output. The Run Command File selection is shown in reverse video because the V/Base Info Window has not been completed. You must tell V/Base which Command File and which Keys File to use in the merge.
To select the Command File, arrow right to Files and choose Command File Select. A listing of the available Command Files will display. Use the Arrow keys to highlight the correct file, the Command File, NOT the $DoFile, and press <Enter>. If you are working through the label example, select @@LABCMD. This file name will now appear in the V/Base Info Window as the Command File.
To select the Keys File, again arrow right to Files and this time choose Keys Database Select. A list of all available Key Files will display. Use the arrow keys to select the correct file, MWORK or a file you named, and press <Enter>.
Once you have selected both of these files your V/Base Info Window should look similar to that pictured below.
The Run Command File selection on the menu is now displayed in normal video and may be selected. However, you may wish to make a few changes before you do so.
Arrow right to Files. You may determine in what order your forms will print by choosing Sort by (#######). The default order is by Client number. Other choices are 2) by zip code then by Client number within the zip codes; 3) in alphabetical order; 4) by zip code then by alphabetical order within the zip codes. Your choice will be updated in the V/Base Info Window. If you wish to print just a few forms first to see how they will look, you may set the first and last record to be printed. To print just the first three forms, set the last record to .
If you would like to change your printer at this time or have the forms displayed on the screen before you actually print them, arrow to Output. Your current Output Type will have an asterisk next to it. If you wish to make a change, arrow to your selection and press <Enter>. Your choice will be updated in the V/Base Info Window.
Under the Control menu you may turn parsing off or on. If parsing is off, names, etc., will be printed in all capital letters, e.g., SAM SMITH. If parsing is on they will be printed in standard case, e.g., Sam Smith.
Once you have made any desired changes, you may select Run Command File. The merge will be performed and the forms will begin to either print or display on the screen. If you wish to pause the output, press [P]. A dialog box will display asking if you want to Continue with output. Type [Y] when you are ready to continue.
From the V/BOSS Main menu select  File Maintenance, arrow to Communications and select V/Base Selections. Arrow to Utilities. With the Low Dates Set-up selection you may set the default for the low end of date ranges. With the High Dates Set-up selection you may set the default for the high end of date ranges. Alternatively, you may set the default for the high end as the current date by selecting Today's Date -> High Date. You will be able to override any of the values if necessary.
If you would prefer to merge your V/Base key file with your word processor, Lyrix or Word Perfect, you may instruct V/Base to create a data file in the proper format. After you have created the key file, from the V/BOSS Main menu select  File Maintenance, arrow right to Communications and select V/Base Output. Arrow right to Files and, if using Lyrix, select Create Lyrix File. If using Word Perfect, select Create Word Perfect File. You should then follow the instructions in earlier in this chapter for the word processor you are using.
With V/Base you not only have the ability to save and retrieve the key file filters, you may take an existing key file and process it through another set of criteria. You may also add to a key file, that is, add Clients or Patients to an existing key file who either meet a different set of criteria or, if processing the sort at a later time, new Clients or Patients who also meet the original criteria.
These options are available from the V/Base Selection menu. Arrow right to General and select File. If you want to ADD to a key file, select Add to Old Key File. A window will display listing the existing key files. Choose the one you to which you wish to add. If you want to process a key file through another sort of different criteria, select Choose from Old File. A window will display listing the existing key files. Choose the one you to reprocess. After selecting the option and the key file, you may choose your selection criteria as described at the beginning of this chapter. Then choose General and Process Sort Now!
This V/Base feature is currently being tested and documented. Call for an update and instructions.
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