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

Tap Into Human Nature to Engage Patients

Posted by Debra Zalvan on May 23, 2017 8:45:00 AM

One of my favorite health quotations comes from Florence Nightingale’s classic Notes on Nursing: What it is and What it is Not: 

“Apprehension, uncertainty, waiting, expectation, fear of surprise, do a patient more harm than any exertion.”

The phrase, in a book first published in 1859, speaks to the idea that patients have strong, often conflicting emotions related to whatever care episode they’re dealing with. Pair those feelings with the fact that health information can sometimes be unfamiliar and scary, and it’s understandable that patients have a hard time comprehending and retaining a doctor’s instructions and advice.

At UbiCare, we believe there are 3 key dimensions that effective healthcare education must include to address patients’ emotional needs, impact their behavior and, ultimately, improve their health outcomes.

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Topics: Digital Patient Engagement, Patient Activation Measure, Patient Experience

Surprising Statistics on Text Messaging and What They Mean for Healthcare

Posted by Debra Zalvan on May 9, 2017 3:00:00 PM

Thinking about implementing text (SMS) communications with your patients? Texting, the 160-character messages sent to and from a mobile device, is the most widely-used basic smartphone feature.

Since 2009, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has acknowledged that texting is an easy way to share health messages with large populations.

But is it effective? Here are some surprising statistics about text messaging and its applicability in healthcare.

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Topics: Patient Provider Communication, Patient Experience, Patient-Centered Care, Innovation, Technology, Texting

Direct-to-Patient Email and Text Communication Is Best for Engaging Patients in Their Care

Posted by Debra Zalvan on Jan 26, 2017 11:05:00 AM

Reaching your patients through the technology they already use is key to patient engagement

With new tools like Snapchat and Boomerang popping up every day, sometimes it seems like communication technology seems to change faster than we can keep up with. That has led some hospitals to rush into creating an app or join the latest social media platform. Others continue to lag behind, using paper and telephone as the primary communication methods used to engage patients.

But some hospitals recognize that patients want to communicate the way they do in daily life. Email and text have an important place in patient-provider communication and remain patients' top choices for connecting with their doctors outside the medical office or hospital walls.

In fact, when it comes to improving health outcomes, your best bet for communicating with patients is a combined approach: mobile-responsive email and text.

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Topics: Hospital Workflows, Patient Outcomes, Digital Patient Engagement, Patient Provider Communication, Patient-Centered Care, Patient Portals, Digital Patient Interactions, Texting

5 Ways to Improve Your Digital Interactions With Patients

Posted by Debra Zalvan on Nov 30, 2016 2:05:00 PM

CMS & McKinsey Agree: Digitization Is a Necessity for All Hospitals

As healthcare payers shift their focus to value-based care, smart hospital leaders recognize that digitization is necessary to make that critical transition from volume to value.

Why Digitize?

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) clearly sees the connection between digital patient connections and value; digitization is woven into the fabric of every new incentive plan the organization introduces. Why? CMS is insisting on engaging patients throughout their entire episode, not only during the in-hospital stay. Technology enables this expanded engagement.

Hospital leaders who promote consistent digital interactions before, during and after the hospital stay will see the greatest return on patient care, outcomes and cost—the 3 most important measures of value-based care. 

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Topics: Digital Patient Engagement, Value-Based Care, HCAHPS, Digital Patient Interactions

3 Tips for Running an Innovative Healthcare Company

Posted by Debra Zalvan on Oct 25, 2016 11:00:00 AM

We were so excited to see our CEO, Betsy Weaver, Ed. D., on Becker’s list of Female Health IT CEOs to Know that we asked her for more on what it takes to start and run one of Boston’s most innovative healthcare companies. Here’s what she had to say:

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Topics: Innovation

Where do hospitals rate on going digital?

Posted by Debra Zalvan on Sep 21, 2016 3:32:07 PM

Will you succeed or die in digital America?

That is the question the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report, Digital America: A Tale of the Haves and Have-Mores”, poses to all sectors of the American economy.

Looking at it through the lens of American healthcare—to tease out a road map for the business of healthcare—the report provides a compelling argument for aggressive hospital digitalization with the following key points:

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Topics: Hospital Workflows, Quality of Care, Digital Patient Engagement, Cost of Care, Patient Satisfaction, Patient Experience, Innovation, Technology

How Social Media Content Attracts New Patients to Your Hospital

Posted by Debra Zalvan on Aug 17, 2016 3:00:00 PM

We discussed in an earlier post that information found on social media affects the way more than 40% of consumers deal with their health. But did you know that healthcare social media content also helps attract patients to your hospital and encourages them to return in the future?

Patients are increasingly becoming savvy healthcare consumers, shopping for hospitals the way they do other items online. They are looking for a concierge experience that combines the best care, accessible doctors, friendly nurses and amenities like private rooms and hotel-quality food. In patients’ minds, all of those items factor into a positive hospital experience.

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Topics: Digital Patient Engagement, Healthcare Social Media

Making Patient Education Systems a Snap … with APIs

Posted by Debra Zalvan on Jun 10, 2015 10:48:03 AM

Your patients are looking for educational resources online.

In fact, about 7 out of 10 (72%) of adult Internet users say they have searched online for information about a range of health issues—especially specific diseases—according to Pew’s The Social Life of Health Information

A few weeks ago, we shared a blog post about Choosing the Right Patient Education Systems for the changing digital healthcare environment. We wrote about how the first step in an effective plan for real patient education or engagement is finding patient education systems that will help you connect with patients digitally—right where they are—online. 

White Paper: Understanding the Changing Healthcare Environment and How to Incorporate Digital Patient Education Systems

Now that you understand the need to connect with patients digitally about their health, your next question is probably, “Who has the time?” That’s where APIs come in.

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Topics: Patient Education, Quality of Care, Digital Patient Engagement, Health Care Interoperability

How to Choose the Right Patient Education Systems

Posted by Debra Zalvan on May 14, 2015 1:42:00 PM

 

Patient education is no longer just what you want to do—it's what you need to do.

Consider that:

But how do you choose the right patient education systems? There are so many tools that claim to provide patient engagement. How do you find the one that meets your hospital's needs? Here are a few things to look for.

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Topics: Patient Education, Quality of Care

Making Us All Better

Digital Patient Engagement News & Strategy

Hear from the UbiCrew, our hospital clients and industry experts about how to:

  • Make meaningful, digital connections with your patients
  • Fully engage patients and attest to Meaningful Use and
  • Prove an ROI from patient education and engagement.

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