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Dr. Lois Ann Malphrus Moves From Paper to Electronic Records With Ease Using Talkatoo Dictation

Dr. Lois Ann Malphrus - Associate Veterinarian
North Greenville Animal Hospital in Greenville, South Carolina / 8 Min Read
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Backdrop

Dr. Lois Ann Malphrus was born and grew up in Greenville, South Carolina as a horse-obsessed kid and lover of all animals. She pursued a career in veterinary medicine, graduating with honors from the University of Georgia in 1986. After graduating, Ann’s love of horses and family led her back to Greenville where she jumped into vet-med with large and small animals at Cleveland Park Animal Hospital in 1991. Soon after, Ann opened her own practice and narrowed her focus to care exclusively for small animals. Her current area of interest is internal medicine.

After 38 years of practicing veterinary medicine, Ann began planning for retirement to pursue another one of her greatest loves – art and sculpting horses (You can see and read about her artwork at DustyBronzeFineArt.com). So, in December of 2019, Ann sold her practice to Southern Veterinary Partners – a smaller, veterinarian-owned corporation she knew she could trust to care for her clients and patients the way she had for so many years. Ann also signed on to continue to work with the practice as an associate veterinarian for the next few years. With the new business set-up, came a new way of completing administrative tasks, like paperwork and record-keeping, which Ann says has been challenging due to her admitted lack of typing and technical know-how. 

The problem, consequences, and hesitations…

When Ann ran the practice, she had her own way of doing things, which included using paper charts that she referenced and flipped through before and during patient exams. “I always used paper charts, but we had to transition to electronic medical records (EMRs). I didn’t grow up with keyboarding, so I don’t type well, and it didn’t come easy.”

“[Spending four or five hours a day entering chart notes into the computer was] very frustrating for me, because I never had to do that before. So I was looking at ways to circumvent that. To work faster, not harder and longer.” 

Dr. Lois Ann Malphrus, Associate Veterinarian

As the new practice made the transition from paper to EMRs, Ann found she was spending four or five hours a day entering chart notes into her computer; time she previously spent seeing patients. “That’s very frustrating for me, because I never had to do that before. So I was looking at ways to circumvent that. To work faster, not harder and longer.” 

The new practice owners also implemented new practice management software which brought in a whole host of change requirements and new things to learn. Though Ann understood the need and importance of electronic medical records, the transitioning process has been slow. “We’re also tasked with ensuring all paper is scanned into the computer and it gets frustrating. I’ve talked to a number of human doctors that are kind of more in my age bracket who have had the same experiences transitioning to medical records and [who] might even have left medicine altogether because it’s so cumbersome to deal with.”

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It turns out the secret was simple…

Ann was looking for a solution to help her out of her keyboarding predicament and asked the practice manager to look into Talkatoo after seeing an ad about the feature and benefits. When the corporation said, “let’s do it,” Ann breathed a big sigh of relief. The practice owners purchased five licenses and the onboarding process began immediately with Talkatoo’s support team. “That part was very smooth,” she said. “I was nervous because it was a new technology and I kept saying ‘technology is not my thing’, but Jamie [one of Talkatoo’s leading Customer Success reps] was really helpful and patient in getting me started. There’s a bit of a learning curve.” 

“..It’s not just for dictating your own notes… I’ll dial up [my clients], put them on speakerphone, get the chart up on my computer, and click to start and stop as I need to…directly into the [practice management system]. It’s a lot faster…It saves me so much time.” 

Dr. Lois Ann Malphrus, Associate Veterinarian

To dictate with Talkatoo, you can use your computer mic or the noise canceling microphone that comes free with most plans. “I looked at the buttons on the microphone and thought, ‘how am I going to learn all those [keys and buttons]’ and it was a little intimidating. Then when I realized I don’t have to use the [microphone] and just need the mouse [and my computer] to turn it on and turn it off and use it, I was happy and it was pretty easy from there.” 

When Ann first started with Talkatoo, she used it primarily to input exam findings and daily records, but realized it can also be used for client communications and to capture notes when talking to clients on speaker phone. “…It’s not just for dictating your own notes,” she said “It’s important to document every [client] conversation; you don’t want to leave anything out. When I was using just paper, I would make a note in the margin, but now that I have to use a computer, it’s become a lot more labor intensive. Talkatoo helps speed up that process. I’ll dial up [my clients], put them on speakerphone, get the chart up on my computer, and click to start and stop as I need to…directly into the [practice management system]. It’s a lot faster…It saves me so much time.” 

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The results speak for themselves…

More than anything, Ann says Talkatoo has brought her peace-of-mind and has made the transition from paper-based to electronic records a lot less painful. “Typing was my biggest issue. What [Talkatoo] has really done for me, is helped me quickly get [the data], my notes, and other stuff, inputted into the computer. It’s easy to learn and non-cumbersome.”

Ann is a huge proponent of Talkatoo and is excited to expand its use in the clinic, particularly with vet techs who spend so much of their time on documentation. “I’m getting better at using Talkatoo and want to start teaching others. I think [Talkatoo] is pretty darn efficient and I would love to see [technicians] use it so they can be faster at getting their stuff down.”

Ann says the whole clinic has benefited from her using Talkatoo because it’s enabled her to provide detailed and complete notes faster and with more accuracy. “I’m doing a better job of documenting communications and so everybody wins.” 

Most importantly, Ann is overjoyed to be getting out of the clinic each day faster than she was before Talkatoo. “It’s made it so I’m able to do my end-of-the-day-stuff a lot quicker. I’m getting out at 8:00 instead of 9:30. I’m a big fan.” 

Ann has some advice for clinics that are considering using Talkatoo, but are on the fence. “Just go for it; give it a try,” she says. And, with Talkatoo’s 30 day money back guarantee, “You can return it if you don’t like it, but go in with the understanding that there’s a bit of a learning curve, so don’t get frustrated. It’s well worth it to stick with it, because it’s going to become your best friend.”

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