National Survey Shows Bay Pines a Preferred Training Facility for Future Healthcare Professionals - Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
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Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

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National Survey Shows Bay Pines a Preferred Training Facility for Future Healthcare Professionals

September 12, 2016

Bay Pines, FL – Results of a national survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Academic Affiliations show that the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (VAHCS) is a preferred place for future healthcare professionals to learn and train.  The results of the annual Learners' Perception Survey (LPS) were made available in August 2016 to VA healthcare facilities across the country.

The LPS is a standardized, scientifically validated instrument that has been designed by the VA to measure the perceptions of those health profession trainees about their clinical training experiences at a VA medical center, hospital, or outpatient care facility. The survey is voluntary and confidential and administered each year to health professions’ trainees, including students, practicum participants, interns, residents, and fellows, who are assigned to a rotation at a VA healthcare system facility. 

“The Institute of Medicine has identified six aims for healthcare systems:  high quality care needs to be safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient and equitable. Providing an environment for trainees in which they learn how to deliver high quality care as part of a team is essential for meeting the healthcare needs of our nation both now and in the future,” said Dr. Henry Park, Deputy Chief of Staff and Associate Chief of Staff of Education, Bay Pines VAHCS.

“We are very proud to once again be recognized as an education leader, a place where students and residents want to train, and also a place where trainees want to stay when their training is complete,” he said.  “The credit should go to the faculty, staff and leadership team at Bay Pines  and our Academic Affiliations’ team in Education Service who work tirelessly to maintain and grow our academic relationships and ensure trainees have available an environment conducive to personal and professional growth.”

The LPS is intended for research, as well as for evaluation, government regulation, program oversight, policy-making functions, administrative management and operations, and program accreditation purposes.  The survey is broken down into several domains of perception or categories where respondents rate their level of satisfaction from 1 to 5 (1 being very dissatisfied, and 5 being very satisfied).

Domains or categories include but are not limited to trainees’ perception of their preceptors or clinical faculty; learning environment; working environment; personal experience; availability, timeliness and quality of staff and services; and more.  Approximately 330 trainees from the Bay Pines VAHCS completed the survey this year – the seventh highest response rate out of 141 participating facilities nationally.

In addition to training-oriented questions, the survey also asked respondents if they would choose VA training experience again and if they would consider VA for future employment. Ninety-eight percent of respondents who trained within the Bay Pines VAHCS indicated that they would return for the experience and 94 percent said they would be willing to work for VA after graduating from their respective academic programs.  Both rates of response mentioned were higher compared to the national average of all VA healthcare facilities as well as those facilities within VA Sunshine Healthcare Network (VISN 8) which encompasses VA medical centers and clinics in Florida, south Georgia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Brian Nagle, a third year Medical Student from the University of Central Florida College of Medicine has completed clinical rotations at the Bay Pines VAHCS’s C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center campus over the last six weeks. While he has not yet completed the LPS, his feedback about his training experience at the medical center aligns with the survey results.

“I come from a family of healthcare professionals who have worked or received some training in the VA,” he said.  “When we (medical students) were given the opportunity to select where we wanted to train, VA was on the top of my list.”

“My experience here has been really good. The patients are great and the staff are very committed to education…I really feel like I am making a difference,” he said.

After medical school, Nagle hopes to specialize in neurology and said he would consider a career with VA when it is time to explore fulltime employment.

Along with providing a full spectrum of healthcare services to America’s Veterans in inpatient, outpatient and residential settings, the Bay Pines VAHCS maintains a robust and active academic affiliations and education program.  The healthcare system maintains more than 220 academic affiliation agreements with institutions of higher learning all over the country.  In 2015, more than 840 medical professionals (doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, dieticians, psychologists, and others) trained within the healthcare system while completing 1,120 rotations.

Bay Pines offers a unique training opportunity for health profession trainees who are interested in learning and using Lean Six Sigma principles.  Lean Six Sigma is a combination of two highly effective process improvement disciplines used in business today. Lean, simply stated, is an improvement practice use to eliminate all non-value-added activities and waste to improve efficiency and flow of a business process. Six Sigma is a data-driven philosophy of quality improvement that values deficiency prevention over deficiency detection. Both disciplines are used widely throughout the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System in both clinical and administrative settings.

To learn more about the Bay Pines VAHCS and its academic training programs please visit www.baypines.va.gov/careers/index.asp, call the Office of Academic Affiliations at 727-398-9533, or email vhabayacademicaffiliations@va.gov.

About the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
The Bay Pines VAHCS is one of the nation’s leading VA healthcare systems, employing more than 4,000 medical professionals and support staff dedicated to providing the very best care to Veterans residing in southwest Florida. The organization is the fourth busiest VA healthcare system in the country in terms of patients served and is accredited by The Joint Commission, Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and several other nationally recognized accrediting organizations. The Bay Pines VAHCS operates nine facilities to include the main medical center located in Bay Pines and outpatient clinics located in Bradenton, Cape Coral, Naples, Palm Harbor, Port Charlotte, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Sebring. To learn more, please visit www.baypines.va.gov or like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/vabaypines.