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

Maintain a HIPAA-Compliant Digital Strategy for Patient Communication

Posted by Debra Zalvan on Mar 27, 2018 2:10:00 PM

In our personal lives, Americans have grown used to giving up personal information to technology in exchange for convenience. We manage passwords using smartphone keychain and apps. We share our emails, phone numbers and birthdays to get store coupons. We save our credit cards in online shopping carts.

As healthcare professionals, however, we are cautious—fearful, even—of dealing in personal information because of the 5-letter abbreviation that looms over our work: HIPAA.

HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, became law in 2002 and was designed to protect the private information of patients and to make sure they are well informed about their choices and their consent for those choices.

Yet even as far back as 2003, HIPAA recognized the need to balance patient privacy and efficiency for healthcare providers. In fact, HIPAA makes digital patient engagement, education and care management easier than you may think.

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Topics: Patient Engagement, Innovation, Healthcare Technology, Episode of Care, healthcare marketing

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: Patient Engagement, 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 Experience, Innovation, Healthcare Technology, Texting in Healthcare

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: Improving Patient Outcomes, Patient Engagement, Texting in Healthcare