Steamboat Springs After almost nine months of labor, Yampa Valley Medical Center gave birth to a new Web site last week. You could call it a redesign because it replaced our previous site, but we like to think of it as brand-new.
We overhauled the entire www.yvmc.org site with you in mind. We know that you are busy. You need information and you need it quickly. You will keep coming back to a Web site that offers content and conveniences that save you time or improve your life.
To get the latest information about virtually any health condition or medical treatment, visit the Community Health Resource Center page and send us an e-mail request. There is no charge to access this specialized lending library and online research service.
Planning surgery? Use yvmc.org to find out what to do - and what not to do - before your scheduled operation. Wondering about jobs or volunteer opportunities at the hospital? Click on these home page links for details.
Families expecting their first baby may want to check our event calendar for childbirth education classes. The calendar also lists our popular "Taking Care of Me" programs, health enhancement classes and community blood drives.
If you are new in town and need to choose a doctor, you may begin your search in our Find a Physician section. If you have been a patient at YVMC, you can download a form to request a copy of your medical records.
Our new Web site also allows you to pay your hospital bill in your pajamas. We predict our patients will appreciate being able to make a payment any time of day without using postage or coming to the hospital.
"Many people are accustomed to paying their other bills online," said Mike Nelson, YVMC's director of patient financial services. "Some patients had requested this convenience, and we are happy to oblige."
Nelson lists several advantages the online bill pay option. "Using this feature, patients can view their statements, update their address or any insurance information, or send us an email with questions," he said.
In addition, patients can ask YVMC to link billing information on all family members into one account. For security purposes, the hospital's patient financial services department requires a phone call from the patient and permission from each adult family member to activate this option.
"Once we combine these accounts, any family member can access account information or pay the bills," Nelson said. "This is especially helpful for couples or parents whose children are minors."
There are two ways to log in. If you have just one bill, it is quick and easy to make a single payment. If you have used several hospital services, you can enroll once, and all of your accounts will be linked.
"This is a good option for individuals or families who are receiving ongoing physical therapy or who may use several hospital services during the year," Nelson said.
"Enrolling will also give people the option to eliminate paper mailings and receive their statements electronically."
Quality medical care and a strong hospital are important elements in any thriving community. Visiting our site will give you insight into the spectrum of care offered by Northwest Colorado's regional medical center.
Even if you are not planning to visit YVMC in person anytime soon, we encourage you to get online and put our new site to the test.
Our goals were to accurately describe our services, provide up-to-date hospital news, reflect the professionalism of our staff and physicians and make it easy for you to find what you are looking for.
How did we do? We welcome your feedback.
Christine McKelvie is public relations director of Yampa Valley Medical Center.