How to Prepare For Your Visit
Be Sure We Have Your Medical Records
If your personal physician has referred you to Prairie Cardiovascular, he/she will either contact us by phone or send your records to our office. It is very important that we receive your medical records. Otherwise, your cardiologist will be unable to adequately evaluate you and it may be necessary to reschedule your appointment until those records are received. If you have referred yourself, you should contact your physician and arrange for your records to be sent to our office before your scheduled visit. Your past medical history is essential in diagnosis and treatment.
Bring All of Your Insurance Information and Your Driver’s License
When you make an appointment with us, you will be asked for your insurance information that will then be verified by us prior to your appointment. You should bring your insurance card and your driver’s license to your first appointment. You can find out more about our financial policies by calling our Patient Finance Department.
Bring All of Your Medications
Please bring all of your medications with you in their original containers when you come to the office. Make sure your doctor knows about every drug you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs and herbal medications as well. One drug may interact with another, in some cases creating serious medical problems.
Fill out the New Patient Information Forms
This information is very important and will expedite the process on your arrival to the office. Copies of the forms are available here. If you cannot print out the forms, please call our office at 217-788-0706 and ask that the forms be mailed to you. Filling out/or viewing the forms before your appointment will save you time.
Your Examination: What to Expect
After you have filled out your registration and the registrar has your necessary personal information and insurance information, a nurse will take you back to an exam room where he or she will take your blood pressure and pulse.
The nurse will also take your medical history to find out not only what medications you’re taking but what, if any, allergies you might have; what kind of prior illnesses or injuries you may have suffered; and any operations or hospital stays you might have had.
You’ll also be asked about the health of your family including any hereditary conditions that might be related to your cardiac health. Finally, you’ll be asked about your marital status, employment and whether or not you use tobacco, alcohol or any drugs. It may help to write down all of your medical events and dates and bring this with you to your visit.
Once the nurse is finished, the cardiologist will meet with you to review your medical history and perform a physical examination. Following the exam, he or she will discuss his findings with you and your family and recommend any further testing or treatment plans. Please feel free to ask the cardiologist any questions you may have at this time. Our physicians utilize Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners who are specially trained in cardiovascular management to see patients on occasion. If that is the case, your visit will then be reviewed by your physician.
What Happens after the First Visit?
After your visit with the cardiologist, our office will forward all cardiac records, test results, and suggestions for treatment to your referring physician. In some cases, we may schedule additional tests that you will need to come back for. We have an array of tests and procedures—many of them non-invasive—at our fingertips that we didn’t have even 10 years ago to help us pinpoint problems and act on them quickly, well in advance of any cardiac incident.
If you have questions, please call your cardiologist’s nurse. Due to our volume of daily calls, every attempt will be made to return your call in a timely manner. Any call received after 4:00 p.m. will normally be returned the following business day.