Adopting Practicum and Internship Software:
Reflections on the Journey by Dr. Will Snow
Palo Alto University’s counseling program addresses myriad administrative complications to prepare its next generation of professional counselors
Back in January, 2016, Tevera wasn’t actually Tevera yet. At that time, our parent company, Procentive (a pioneer in web-based, EHR software for mental and behavioral health), had begun to explore the question of how we could better serve mental health professionals earlier in their careers.
That’s when Adam Bates, our Business Development Director, first met Will Snow, Ph.D., director of the Master’s in Counseling Program at Palo Alto University. Adam set up a meeting to talk about a web-based classroom product we’d developed to train students in electronic records management.
The Meeting That Launched Tevera
Initially, Dr. Snow’s interest in the classroom product was lukewarm. What did capture his attention was Adam himself. Unlike many sales representatives who came calling, Adam had a Marriage and Family Therapy license — and a profound understanding of clinicians’ needs earned through that experience. Dr. Snow and Adam quickly found common ground, talking about clinical work, CACREP issues, and more. When Dr. Snow expressed real frustration with the management of the clinical training experience — and encouraged Bates and the company to create a meaningful solution to the problem — it was Bates’ turn sit up and take notice.
“…what was causing us frustration was the whole clinical training experience. It was a real headache to manage all the paperwork and get meaningful reports from it. I encouraged Adam and his company to do something to fill this big void.”
— Dr. Will Snow
Mining Procentive’s Electronic Mental Health Management Expertise
to Solve an Academic Problem
Adam brought Randy Zimmerman, Procentive’s founder and his CEO, into the picture, and with a team of developers, began assessing the needs of other counseling (and social work) programs. What they discovered was a situation exactly as Dr. Snow described: programs like his, all across the country, cobbling together their own systems because integrated solutions to manage the numerous records involved in clinical training management, student outcomes, and more were either nonexistent or extremely limited.
Seeing an opportunity to provide genuine value to a community they were committed to serve, the company (soon to be known as Tevera) made it their mission to develop an integrated practicum and internship management system.
Creating an All-in-One Solution to Ease the Administrative Burden
Initially, we called Tevera’s solution Clinical Training Manager (CTM), and focused it on the clinical experience. We were also fortunate to enlist Palo Alto University as one of our first test cases, and Dr. Snow as an early adopter and advisor — a role he unofficially remains in to this day.
When Dr. Snow realized that CTM could do what his school was relying on its student portfolio manager and reporting software to do, he quickly dropped them and adopted Tevera for these functions, along with practicum and internship placement, time tracking, and document delivery.
That’s when we really knew that if we kept doing what we were doing — asking customers and the staff at CACREP and NBCC what they needed, using those conversations to inform continuous improvements to the system, and recruiting a responsive support team — Tevera was destined to earn a valued place in counseling education programs.
The big question: Why did Dr. Snow put his own reputation on the line to help develop Tevera?
That question is best answered by Dr. Snow himself: “We were involved with Tevera from the start, and took a significant risk. The software could have blown up in my face. What made me [get involved]? I got to know Randy and Adam very well; I learned to trust them. Randy was always talking about ‘patient care,’ ‘caring about care,’ and ‘authentic care.’ He has a passion for improving the mental health care system. And Adam was more than a sales rep. He was always listening to us and taking our suggestions on what we needed built into the system to support us.”
“I was confident that in addition to the right attitudes, they had the technical expertise to pull this off. What I can ensure is that Randy, Adam, and the Tevera staff have the right attitude, expertise, and commitment for improving health care, which is why I am still involved with the group and am looking forward to the future!”
William Snow, Ph.D.
Palo Alto University