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

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

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