VCA operates over 600 animal hospitals in 41 states and three Canadian provinces. These hospitals are staffed by more than 3,000 fully qualified, dedicated, and compassionate veterinarians to provide the very best in general and specialty medical care. In a national survey of VCA doctors, 87 percent identified “improving exam room communication” as the skill with the greatest impact on their job performance. To achieve this goal, VCA partnered with Enspire Learning to create the “Communication Works: Happy Doctors, Loyal Clients, Healthy Pets” program.
Built from extensive field research with VCA doctors and over four decades of evidence-based studies on doctor-patient communication, the program includes a classroom-based collaborative learning workshop, online training modules for content and skills reinforcement, and an online Doctor Communication Resource Center.
The workshop content includes scientifically validated how-to training that can be put to immediate use. Centered on core exam room communication skills, learners engage in team and group activities to discuss content, share ideas, and practice and evaluate strategies and skills together. To appropriately teach and reinforce core communication skills, seven 20-minute e-learning modules provide a staged presentation of content that introduces, then later reinforces and expands on the material presented in the workshop. Though each module is distinct in topic matter, all modules share common features, including virtual characters, professional video segments, interactivities, illustrated graphics, voice-over narration, and sound design. The combination of didactic, interactive, and video-based content is motivating, dynamic, and engaging. The Doctor Communication Resource Center is a web-based forum that provides doctors access to continuing education and self-directed exploration through posted articles, resources, and discussion forums.
Doctors surveyed following the program had high praise for “Communication Works”: “Excellent summarization of needed skills that are not taught in school yet are so important in communicating everyday to clients. Thank you for helping me improve my communication skills and making me realize just what I needed to work on to be a more effective communicator and, as a result, a better patient advocate.”