CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Information about all of West Virginia’s hospitals, available health procedures by site, health careers, educational programs and health events are now easily accessible online through a dedicated website at hospitalsmartwv.com.

“HospitalSmart has been designed to help improve a consumer’s knowledge or a patient’s knowledge about the hospitals across the Mountain State,” said Joe Letnaunchyn, president and CEO of the West Virginia Hospital Association.

“It allows people to explore West Virginia hospital services, to look at health and wellness events offered by the hospitals, to get measures of quality care delivered and even look at available health care careers around the state.”

Currently, there is no other such comprehensive resource available in West Virginia, according to those with the WVHA.

Every Mountain State hospital is linked into the site, explained Jim Kranz, vice president of quality and data services for the West Virginia Hospital Association.

He demonstrated HospitalSmart’s features on Thursday.

“This is really powerful and we’ve devised this be really consumer-friendly,” Kranz said of the result of two years of work.

Doug Bentz, CEO of Roane General Hospital and chair of the WVHA Quality Committee, said better health information could lead to better overall health among West Virginians.

“As consumers, we all should know that we need to be more engaged in our own health and the decisions that we make. HospitalSmart was designed as a tool to make those better decisions,” Bentz said.

For health procedures, the HospitalSmart focus is largely on non-emergency and elective treatments.

“Obviously, if you’re having a heart attack, you’re going to be in an ambulance going to the closest hospital humanly possible,” Kranz said.

“But we all know somebody that has a hip or knee problem and those individuals think about those things for years before they decide, ‘I’m going to commit to having the surgery.'”

With a search, people can identify all West Virginia hospitals where the procedure they’re seeking is provided, search by zip code for the closest hospital sites and also do comparisons of the facilities when it comes to quality and many other factors.

Additionally, the site serves as a centralized location for announcements about local health and wellness events.

“It’s been a huge endeavor and it’s something we’re very proud of,” said Letnaunchyn whose organization represents 63 hospitals and health systems in West Virginia.

The launch announcement for www.hospitalsmartwv.com comes ahead of the start of National Hospital Week on Sunday.

“By empowering individuals with this needed information about our hospitals, we believe HospitalSmart encourages West Virginians to live healthy and to live smart,” Bentz said.

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