Customer story

Why Dr. Ritzman Switched to Moichor

Collaborator:

Tracey Ritzman - DVM, DABVP (Avian Practice), DABVP (Exotic Companion Mammal Practice)

Clinic:

The study took place at Breton Village Animal Clinic, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Dr. Ritzman’s current affiliation is with Griffin Exotics, Kannapolis, North Carolina.

Customer story

Why Dr. Ritzman Switched to Moichor

Collaborator:

Tracey Ritzman - DVM, DABVP (Avian Practice), DABVP (Exotic Companion Mammal Practice)

Clinic:

The study took place at Breton Village Animal Clinic, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Dr. Ritzman’s current affiliation is with Griffin Exotics, Kannapolis, North Carolina.

Data Reliability

Access to slide images

Faster turnaround for results

Introduction

Dr. Ritzman picked a flyer up off the floor at ExoticsCon. The flier had caught her eye with the promise of automated avian, reptile and exotic mammal CBCs. A short while later, she had set up a side-by-side study with Moichor and her reference lab to see if Moichor could deliver on its promise. 

She was captivated by the idea of how Moichor was collecting data. “There’s not as much evidence-based data out there for the exotics species of animals we’re working with compared to dogs and cats,” Dr. Ritzman said. She turned to Moichor for a new way to harness avian and reptile CBC data.

Challenges

Evidence

Dr. Ritzman wanted more insight from her avian and reptile CBCs. She wanted to be able to visually confirm data for herself and to see cell images to correlate with her findings.  With her previous lab, she didn’t have access to the images associated with her patients’ blood smears — “it was sort of a black box,” she said.

Without access to images, Dr. Ritzman was concerned about variability between the data she was receiving and as a result, the data’s reliability. 

Speed

In the absence of an in-clinic device, getting results quickly is an ongoing challenge. For Dr. Ritzman, a quick turnaround for test results is fundamental to the evaluation and development of a treatment plan for her sick patients. “Time is of the essence when it comes to the development and implementation of a treatment plan,” Dr. Ritzman said. 

Why Dr. Ritzman Chose Moichor

In addition to the increased demand of her patient load, Dr. Ritzman, sought a way to improve the actionability of the data she was collecting from her patients.

“What's important to me is to utilize a lab service that is going to help my patients the most by giving the best quality information and data back to me,” Dr. Ritzman said.


 “The challenge we have as clinicians is that we’re searching for reliable data. Those of us that go into this field know that we have this challenge and we live with it.  But the exciting part as a clinician is finding ways to advance the medicine that we practice,” she said.

Encouraged by the quality of service she received from the Moichor team, Dr. Ritzman set up a side-by-side study to correlate Moichor’s results with those she was receiving with her reference lab. 

“One of the things that’s always impressed me has been how responsive Moichor has been. They’ve always gotten back to me quickly and I’ve loved having a dedicated person, who is always there to answer a question.”

Dr. Ritzman’s Side-by-Side Study

The side-by-side study took place in July 2020. Dr. Ritzman was working with 23 parrots associated with Holliday’s Exotic Avian Rescue and a range of species. Of the patients in the study, 80% were non-routine and 20% were wellness. 

She conducted the side-by-side comparison study, sending blood work to Moichor and a national lab. To evaluate avian Complete Blood Cell Count.

“For me, running a side-by-side trial was really important because I wanted to make sure the data was reliable. Because it’s not always easy to know if a lab is giving you reliable data.”

Here’s How Dr Ritzman used Moichor to design the right treatment plan for Pappi:


Highlights from Pappi’s blood analysis

Pappi is a mature adult hybrid Catalina Macaw rescue.

  • Moichor results showed band heterophils present, which raised a concern with a serious infection or inflammation. This morphology information provided the clinician with important information about Pappi’s condition. These cell types went undetected by the other lab. 
  • More aggressive treatment was provided for Pappi based on the Moichor information showing the presence of band heterophils on the morphology, indicating inflammation. 
  • Without the morphologic information, the severity of the inflammation/infection may not have been appreciated, which may have affected Pappi’s treatment plan. 
  • Pappi responded well to systemic antibiotic, anti-fungal therapy and anti-inflammatory medications and showed good clinical improvement. Pappi continues to do well today at the rescue 14 months after this treatment. 


To keep reading more in depth this customer story go to:

See side-by-side study

How Moichor Worked With Dr. Ritzman

Moichor provided Dr. Ritzman with a high-touch level of customer support to make sure her side-by-side study went smoothly and that Dr. Ritzman was confident in how to use Moichor’s customer portal to access the data she was looking for.

“The idea of having a lab service that’s really responsive and cutting edge is really important,” Dr. Ritzman said.

Evidence

The team worked with Dr. Ritzman to learn what she wanted to see to improve her confidence in the reliability of the data. Her point of contact worked with her to have a clear understanding of the features available though the Moichor online portal.

“I love the fact that I can pull up the images of these smears and look at the populations of these cells without having to spend a huge amount of time under the microscope,” Dr. Ritzman said.

“What I appreciated was that with Moichor I could pull up those smears and I could say: ‘Yeah, I see that there’s a predominance of degenerative heterophils here in the smear and that fits the toxic or infectious process that I’m seeing for this animal.’ It’s really helpful to have that visual confirmation.”

Speed

The Moichor team sees turnaround time as an essential feature. For that reason, the company moved its office four small city blocks from the San Francisco UPS sorting facility. That’s why with hematology samples, even clinicians in Michigan like  Dr. Ritzman can expect patients’ results in under 24 hours.

By using cutting edge technology to image cells, Moichor is able count three to five times more cells in the monolayer than a manual read would allow and in the fraction of the time. For Dr. Ritzman, that translated to more consistently successful reads. “Having a good system that you can trust in is reliable and quick, is really helpful,” Dr. Ritzman said. 

 “Moichor was faster than the lab I was using.” 

The Results

“The side-by-side study gave me the confidence to say Moichor’s results are consistent with a lab that I've been familiar with if not better — particularly in terms of hematology,” Dr. Ritzman said.

“With Moichor, I found that I could get back consistent results. I’m not getting notes that say “sample insufficient” or “sample clotted”.

Dr. Ritzman was pleasantly surprised by the opportunities that come with slide images.  “I typically have a vet students working with me. And this makes for an easy way to look at a slide together at the same time.” 

“We're not able, in the clinical practice, to look at a blood smear simultaneously through a teaching microscope. So it’s really helpful and important that we can easily show a resident what we’re looking at and looking for in a smear. And with Moichor’s images, we can do that together on a computer screen. For the private practitioners group, that's an awesome teaching tool to have.”

“The service and turnaround time with Moichor was really good. And the other thing I really love is that I get a notification whenever a patient’s lab results become available,” Dr. Ritzman said.


“I would definitely encourage others to try Moichor, and I'm happy to be an advocate for that because there's a future here that you are working on with this technology, that is going to have a tremendous impact.”

Tracey Ritzman
-
DVM, DABVP, DABVP