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Debra Zalvan

Debra Zalvan is UbiCare's Executive VP of Marketing. She focuses on expanding our business scope, bringing UbiCare to new markets and honing our messaging. She provides project governance for UbiCare’s new projects, as well as our work with the Department of Defense.
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Recent Posts

A Case Study in Successful Patient Engagement Part One: Make Digital Education the Standard of Care

Posted by Debra Zalvan on Apr 18, 2019 2:00:00 PM

Hospitals have long been challenged to reduce costs while improving outcomes. Now, more than ever, they need to maintain high standards for patient experience, while focusing on hard metrics such as readmissions, length of stay, emergency department use, discharge destination and day-of-surgery cancellations. The financial implications of ignoring those metrics are simply too big. At a four-hospital system in the Midwest, the cost of emergency department visits alone ranges from $500–$4,000 per visit.

There, the CMIO was interested in pairing technology with targeted content to improve these metrics. For 10 years, this hospital system had used UbiCare’s SmarteXp® digital patient engagement platform to connect with and educate expectant and new parent patients. Healthcare providers there knew it was effective in engaging this population.

The CMIO saw research that showed the efficacy of digitally educating and engaging total joint replacement patients from pre-op through post-op and was intrigued. He was confident his health system could do even better, by digitally guiding joint replacement patients and setting their expectations before and after surgery.

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Topics: Improving Patient Outcomes, Patient Engagement, Patient Experience, Mobile Technology

How Patient Engagement Lowers Costs for Hospitals

Posted by Debra Zalvan on Apr 3, 2019 11:09:26 AM

Wasteful spending in healthcare amounts to incredibly high costs for U.S. hospitals. Preventable hospital readmissions and unnecessary emergency department (ED) visits alone account for $25 billion and $14 billion, respectively, in excess healthcare spending each year, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Institute.  

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Topics: Improving Patient Outcomes, Patient Experience, patient activation

Top Hospitals Invest in Patient Engagement

Posted by Debra Zalvan on Mar 28, 2019 12:30:22 PM

The latest hospital star ratings, recently released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), include some high-performing hospitals that make patient engagement a high priority. 

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Topics: Patient Experience, patient activation, Mobile Technology

Digital connections deliver better healthcare to populations in need

Posted by Debra Zalvan on Feb 7, 2019 2:30:00 PM

During his January 2019 State of the City address, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new initiative that guarantees affordable healthcare for every resident of the city. The new program will provide care for those who lack insurance because they can’t afford it, feel that they don’t need it, or have no access to it due to their immigration status.

One of the hopes for the program is that it will stem the tide of overwhelming overuse of the city’s hospital emergency rooms. Having insurance won’t accomplish this alone. People need the access to preventative care that insurance provides, as well as ongoing education to help them make good health decisions and take better care of themselves and their families.

Here, digital messaging can come to the rescue. recent study that we conducted in conjunction with a U.S.-based four-hospital system showed just how powerful an impact digital education has on patient outcomes and cost metrics. Providing relevant, evidence-based information throughout the care episode resulted not only in a statistically significant decrease in length of stay and emergency room visits, it positively impacted readmissions, discharge destination and day-of-surgery cancellations.


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Topics: Patient Engagement, Healthcare Technology