Innovative Care


Educate. Advocate. Protect. The Associate developed program, Hands-Free Radiology TM is designed for a more compassionate, effective and safer approach to obtaining diagnostic images. We’re always looking for innovative ways to further improve care methods, and our Hands-Free Radiology Program demonstrates the world-class medicine and compassion we’re known for.

Hands-Free techniques help our veterinary technicians and assistants minimize the stress of obtaining x-rays for our patients, reduce Associate exposure to radiation and also allow diagnostic images to be obtained in less time with fewer exposures.

The goal is quality images obtained the first time while improving the safety and overall experience for our teams and patients.

Dedicated to training and education, VCA’s Regional Technician Directors, Regional Medical Directors and Regional Operations Directors are supporting an individualized rollout approach throughout all our hospitals. Thanks to their efforts, our teams have completed more than 1,000 trainings, including over 100 in-person training sessions. VCA is a leading advocate for this industry change and is focusing on taking care of the future of veterinary medicine through education and shared stories and resources.

IdeaPark: The
Future of Care

We cherish inspired moments—the spark of a new idea. Supported by a team of technologists and innovators, our eight general-practice IdeaPark hospitals in the Los Angeles, Atlanta and Denver areas redefine what’s possible in patient, client and Associate experience. They serve as a live testing ground for scalable ideas designed to expand access to care while improving the lives of all our hospital teams.

IdeaPark has three key focus areas:

  • Increasing hospital teams’ capacity to care for patients in more efficient ways—at scale
  • Improving convenience and access to care for clients and patients
  • Reducing stress for clients, patients and hospital care teams

We’re excited about the important role that our IdeaPark hospitals and support teams are playing to better equip VCA in taking care of the future of veterinary medicine in meaningful, innovative ways. Since inception, we have launched several successful programs and pilots through our IdeaPark incubation engine.

Increasing hospital teams’ capacity to care for patients in more efficient waysat scale

Improving convenience and access to care for clients and patients

Reducing stress for clients, patients and hospital care teams

Urgent Care: Bridging the Gap

Driven by a once-in-a-generation mix of forces—from talent shortages to pandemic-era pet adoptionsthe field of veterinary medicine is under strain responding to significant demand. To help expand access to care, VCA Animal Hospitals has added a new care option: Urgent Care.

VCA’s new Urgent Care Hospitals are designed to handle cases that need timely attention but are not emergencies, providing a new care option that helps us serve more pets, more quickly. Urgent Care offers same- or next-day availability, and clients have free access to an in-house team of certified veterinary professionals for 24/7 teletriage support through VCA’s Live Chat.

Urgent Care Hospitals are intentionally designed without a front desk or phones, as all interaction takes place via mobile device. Clients begin their visit by entering a real-time, online waiting room, which provides transparent wait times, so they can wait wherever suits them best.

The first Urgent Care Hospital opened in Mar Vista, Los Angeles, with plans for future locations across the U.S. in the coming months.

Virtual Client Communications Team, Tangible Support

Veterinary hospitals have seen a significant increase in demand for appointments in recent years, leading to a large increase in call volume. To help manage this influx and empower our hospital teams to focus on improving in-hospital care, we have developed a virtual support Client Communications team of virtual customer service representatives (CSRs). The CSRs act as an extension of our hospitals’ teams to answer scheduling calls and directly schedule appointments into each hospital’s WOOFware calendar

—all while providing clients with a high-quality, friendly “hometown care feel” experience with low wait times.

By improving the client’s path to scheduling an appointment, Associates have more time to focus on client experience in the hospital, leading to higher client and Associate job satisfaction.

Meeting our
40% call reduction goal

Increasing Associate
job satisfaction and our
client experience—
with hold times
at less than 20 seconds

Client satisfaction score
averaging above
4.5 out of 5

Telemedicine: The Future is Accessible, Convenient and Stress-Free

As the future of veterinary medicine embraces the fusion of in-person and virtual experiences, VCA continues to set the standard in developing fully integrated care.

In deep collaboration with nine VCA Hospitals in Michigan, we launched a “true telemedicine” service that connects clients directly with a veterinarian for virtual video visits. Available through the myVCA app, clients can book same- or next-day sick visit appointments in under a minute with a veterinarian who has the ability to diagnose and order prescriptions as needed. 

This seamless experience is made possible by forging new connections between the myVCA app and several hospital operational systems—enabling a seamless experience that connects clients to more care options.

Telemedicine is a major step of realizing our goal of empowering clients to access care from anywhere while providing much-needed relief to busy hospital teams who don’t always have the capacity to add additional same- or next-day appointments for patients in need.

24/7 Live Chat: Care, On Demand

Now available to all VCA general practice and urgent care clients, our Live Chat service allows pet owners to chat with a licensed VCA technician at the tap of a button in the myVCA app—day or night.

We recognized early on the importance of creating this service within VCA to help clients have better on-demand access to VCA’s world-class medical expertise. In April 2021, we built our own internal Live Chat team and refreshed the myVCA app to create a better experience for clients and hospital teams.

Since then, we’ve been able to quickly help pet owners—often within minutes of a client’s first message—assess the severity of a given issue and advise on the appropriate next steps. Our hospital teams have also shared how Live Chat has helped support their ability to see more pets that require in-person care. By the end of 2022, we will have fielded well over 200,000 chat sessions.

Helping Pets
in Need

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