VCA Animal Hospitals: Blended Learning

VCA Animal Hospitals

Veterinary Exam Room Communication

VCA Animal Hospitals needed to help doctors improve their communication skills.


VCA Animal Hospitals partnered with Enspire to design a multifaceted learning program to help veterinary doctors improve their communication skills. Enspire created the Communication Works: Happy Doctors, Loyal Clients, Healthy Pets program. The program is used at VCA Animal Hospitals, which operates over 600 small animal hospitals in 41 states and Canada. These hospitals are staffed by more than 2,600 fully qualified, dedicated, and compassionate doctors who provide the very best in general and specialty veterinary care.

The Challenge

In a national survey of VCA doctors, 87% identified “improving exam room communication” as having the greatest impact on job performance. VCA doctors voiced a need to share experiences with peers, and build a community of practice, where learners could tap into the collective wisdom of the group.

The Solution

VCA partnered with Enspire 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. 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.

Content is presented using virtual characters, professional video segments, interactivities, illustrated graphics, voice-over narration, and sound design to deliver a motivating, dynamic, and engaging experience. 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.

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