Participants at Tellus’ 2nd annual EVV national forum learned how to effectively train employees and gain adoption of Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) so they could get the most out of the system.

The presentation from Michelle McCandless, SVP Operations at Tellus, was both a philosophical discussion and a nuts-and-bolts educational lesson for an audience eager to learn how to train a wide spectrum of caregivers and workers in the home health and personal care arena.

McCandless, a certified fraud examiner comes from the payer side of the business, with a healthy dose of financial services experience. The EVV thought leader explored change management, and how training and outreach impacts how the industry will work together.

“How adults learn is dependent on who they are and how they like to learn,” she said. “It’s very important for us to keep those things in mind as we are communicating about EVV and the impact it is having on the industry.” It’s not one-size-fits-all when it comes to training.

Beginnings are strange things. People want them to happen, but, at the same time, they fear them, she suggested.

McCandless’ philosophy is that some people in organizations like change, and others don’t. While this change is about technology and process, change is really always about people. Change is viewed as external — something that happens to a person and is outside of that person and outside of their control.

Transition, on the other hand, is internal, “and unless that happens, the external thing won’t work,” she said, comparing change in the EVV world to change in a workout routine.

Caregivers new on the job may be intimidated by change so they won’t hear the benefits of change. They may also feel alone in experiencing the change, no matter where they are in the ecosystem. EVV is just one component in a person’s work life.

McCandless also spoke of other challenges in EVV training and outreach. Readiness levels fluctuate depending on worker experience levels. Old behaviors are often revisited, and there is ongoing maintenance and training, making it hard to implement any new process and just walk away.

“Specific to EVV, there is a lot of transition time where people are living in ambiguity,” she said, noting that the ability to live in ambiguity is a key skill that can be learned.

McCandless noted that it’s important to teach the awareness of what EVV is, to find a “buy-in” component and then teach the actual skills: “how physically do I do EVV?”

At Tellus, skills are taught like how to use the mobile app, how to use the EVV system’s administrator console and scheduler and how to process claims. While the focus is a lot on skills, there still needs to be some desire to change and some influence and coaching from inside the organization, she added.

“When AHCA rolled out EVV [in Florida] in home health we heard some people say, ‘I don’t want to carry a mobile phone.’” So there’s a mindset, a desire not to do anything electronic, that has to be overcome. You need resources and an action plan, she said. Most importantly, caregivers need the skills.

“People like to be successful at work, they like to do things well. If they don’t know how to do it, it raises their anxiety level.”

The way McCandless sees it, team leaders and trainers must be able to gauge caregiver awareness and buy in. An action plan can be ideas to set up how to manage change. Training and orientation should be managed by trusted advisors.

Influencers and industry peers are critical change agents. They can be employed at any level of the change, certainly during the training on EVV. Identification and recruitment of change agents can really aid in managing the change in a positive way, she said.

“How you present the message [to caregivers] is important,” she said. “Be aware of why we are doing EVV and choose your words when you speak about it internally because emotions trump reason every time. If you can show the benefit to them, you’re going to have a more successful change.”