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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

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

Mobile technology is not a value-add to millennials—it’s a baseline expectation

Posted by Debra Zalvan on Jan 31, 2019 3:00:00 PM

Watch out, baby boomers—millennials are on track this year to overtake you as America’s largest generation, according to recent research by the Pew Research Center. These young adults, who will range in age from 23 to 38 in 2019, are positioned to make healthcare decisions for themselves, their own growing families and their aging parents.

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Topics: Patient Engagement

Using Direct Patient Activation to Motivate Patients

Posted by Debra Zalvan on Sep 13, 2018 8:05:00 AM

Imagine you are one of the 1.1 million people about to have a joint replacement this year. Your doctor gave you information during your pre-op visit but you were so busy worrying about your recovery and how you would manage your daily responsibilities, that you missed a lot of the details. Your husband took some notes but he was also overwhelmed at the thought of you being off your feet for 6 weeks. You’ve been doing the best you can with what you remember of your care instructions and you’re hoping for a successful outcome.

Now imagine, instead, that you started to receive care instructions and check-ins from your surgeon after that first pre-op visit. The information helped you remember what your doctor said, reminded you what you need to know at every point in this process (which can be more than six months from pre-op through recovery) and eased your anxiety.

That level of engagement is known as patient activation – the act of energizing a person to manage his or her own health and healthcare with knowledge, skills and confidence. Patient activation is associated with better post-surgical outcomes, including a 40% decrease in 30-day readmissions and 21% lower care costs in the year after surgery.

Hospitals are making that impact even stronger by employing what is referred to as direct patient activation – motivating patients with regular, targeted mobile connections delivered through push messaging.

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Topics: patient activation, Episode of Care, Healthcare Technology, Innovation, Patient Experience, Patient Engagement, Improving Patient Outcomes

How to Increase Patient Activation—4 Areas That Matter

Posted by Debra Zalvan on May 29, 2018 2:05:00 PM

When my daughter was 2 years old, she was diagnosed with a peanut allergy. At the office visit, the doctor told me, simply, “Avoid ethnic foods,” and scooted me out the door. I left—scared, anxious and thinking there had to be more information that I needed to know. I immediately searched Dr. Google for answers (and changed pediatricians).

Every interaction that patients have with their doctors, nurses and others in the hospital—whether in-person or online—makes an impression. Are you paying attention to what matters to ensure that your impression is a positive, long-lasting one?

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Topics: Patient Engagement, Value-Based Care, Healthcare Technology, healthcare marketing, Patient Experience, Improving Patient Outcomes