Dr. Lindsay Ruland has had a passion for animals her entire life. An Ann Arbor native, Dr. Ruland attended Eastern Michigan University where she majored in biology, and was accepted to Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine in her junior year of undergraduate studies. After graduating in 2009, she immediately began working in emergency veterinary medicine.
After three short years working at two different clinics, Dr. Ruland took the brave step to start her own practice. At only 28, and with two kids under the age of two at home, she opened the Emergency Veterinary Hospital (EVH) in Ann Arbor on July 4, 2012. Fast-forward 10 years and the bustling 24- hour hospital boasts 27 staff members and carries most of the emergency work performed in the Ann Arbor area.
Emergency vets overwhelmed with after-hours paperwork
In emergency medicine, there are typically no appointments and patient cases that seem easy at first, can get quite complex. That often means patients are pushed, caseloads start piling up, and vet staff fall behind on their work – which translates to longer hours at the clinic.
The urgent nature of their cases requires the EVH team to keep highly detailed patient records. Dr. Ruland noticed her staff were frequently staying long after their shifts ended to complete reports and patient records.
“With the caseloads we were seeing, and the complexity of the cases, we were really looking for a tool that could help us improve the efficiency for our vets so they could get home in a timely manner.”
With the caseloads we were seeing, and the complexity of the cases, we were really looking for a tool that could help us improve the efficiency for our vets so they could get home in a timely manner.”Dr. Lindsay Ruland, Practice Owner and DVM
Dr. Ruland was reluctant to try Talkatoo
Dr. Ruland believes that with consistently superior care and a client-focused clinic, success will naturally follow. “We’re very patient-centered with our medicine. And as a result, our goal is to reach as many patients as we possibly can. And we believe that the finances just flow in with that, and so we are always looking for new ways to improve the efficiency of our practice.”
One of Dr. Ruland’s veterinarians, Dr. Alex Brown was the first to recommend Talkatoo. After using the tool herself and seeing the benefits, she persuaded Dr. Ruland to give Talkatoo a try. “She came to me and said, ‘you know, you really got to try this.’”
After a series of negative experiences with other software vendors, Dr. Ruland was reluctant to try Talkatoo, “Dr. Brown saw an ad for Talkatoo, and in all honesty, I was like, ‘…these other two companies we looked at were just so rude…. I don’t know if I want to look into another tech company, right now.’” She was also concerned about the support she would receive once the software was purchased.
“Our doctors record their findings immediately”
Dr. Ruland says installing Talkatoo was a breeze, and the software has become an essential part of EVH’s workflow. “After performing a physical exam, our doctors record their findings immediately, which allows them to focus solely on their patient during each appointment.
“All the credit goes to her [Dr. Brown]. I actually use it more than she does now, ironically. So it’s definitely been a very essential tool for our facility.
“After performing a physical exam, our doctors record their findings immediately, which allows them to focus solely on their patient during each appointment.Dr. Lindsay Ruland, Practice Owner and DVM
“We had a couple of doctors on our team that were hesitant to use Talkatoo initially because they kept insisting they type very quickly and don’t need dictation software. Then about two months in, they were begging me for the login.
“The other thing I like about Talkatoo is how responsive you guys are when we have a question or a problem. Not only does your support team get back to us right away, they check back in to make sure the solution to any issues has worked. That support is really crucial for me, especially because I tend to lose track.”
A morale booster
The clinic currently has Talkatoo installed in the doctor’s office, manager’s office, and main treatment areas. Multiple veterinarians can use the dictation software throughout their shifts with this setup. Since Talkatoo works from anywhere, some veterinarians have also installed it on their personal computers for rare work-from-home cases.
Dr. Ruland has noticed a palpable boost in morale across the clinic since implementing Talkatoo. “Our team feels more purposeful and accomplished. Those are the words they’ve described to me,” she said.
When a new patient comes into the clinic for the first time, doctors use Talkatoo to add detailed notes to the treatment plan. The software’s punctuation feature makes the process smooth. “If we’re going to improve efficiency for our doctors in completing their medical records, we can’t be constantly backtracking and correcting words and typos. The functionality of Talkatoo, where you can tell it to learn your words to type out things correctly, without having to keep going back, works great. I love the [spoken] punctuation [feature] that you guys added in too – [it gives the] ability for us to just say “period”, and it types the period [automatically, which] has made it so much easier and smoother when completing our records.”