Preparing for Your Visit

Advance preparation will help you get the most benefit out of your visit to the Adult Congenital Heart Clinic at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.

Allow yourself ample time for parking. If this is your first visit to the Heart Institute, you will need some extra time to find the areas for your various tests as well as for your visit with your physician in the outpatient Ambulatory Care Centre on the second floor. There are volunteers who are available to direct you to your destination. Please ask for assistance.

Make sure that you register at the reception area of the Ambulatory Care Centre so that we are made aware of your arrival. Be sure to bring:

  • A list of any questions you may have
  • Your health card
  • All of your medications in their original containers: include over-the-counter drugs, herbal remedies, vitamins, and birth control medication
  • Lunch or money for food at the cafeteria, if you are scheduled for tests on the same day as your appointment with the physician

Ensure that we have your current and correct information, including:

  • Contact information
    • Full and correct name
    • Date of birth
    • Address
    • Telephone numbers (home, work)
    • Emergency contact person and telephone number
  • Names of current family physician and any specialists involved in your care

Make sure you understand your heart problem and any associated precautions or restrictions, such as antibiotic prophylaxis and exercise limitations. Feel free to ask questions so that you have a clear understanding of your heart abnormality. If you have had tests, ask about the results and ask questions to clarify what the test results mean.

If you need to visit other physicians, you should present yourself to the emergency department, or if you have various tests, you should ensure that copies of the test results are sent to your cardiologist’s office. Reports may be sent via fax to 613-761-4539 or by mail to:

Adult Congenital Heart Clinic
University of Ottawa Heart Institute
40 Ruskin St., Room H-3413
Ottawa, ON K1Y 4W7

You can contact the clinic by phone at: 613-761-4318. See Location & Directions for information about getting to the Heart Institute.

The  Prevention & Wellness Centre houses many electronic and printed resources that you can borrow or purchase. Some publications are free of charge. Computers are available so that you may do an electronic search of your heart problem. The Prevention & Wellness Centre is located on the second floor of the Heart Institute, just a short distance away from the Ambulatory Care Centre.

After you have seen your cardiologist and before leaving the Heart Institute, you should make sure that you have scheduled your appointments for testing and a follow-up visit. We can schedule appointments up to two years in advance.

If you are travelling or studying away from home:

  • Make sure you get health insurance.
  • Take your health card with you.
  • A Medic Alert bracelet is a good idea if you are on anticoagulation therapy or if you need antibiotic prophylaxis at times of risk.
  • It is a good idea to ask for a copy of your latest clinic letter and your most recent test reports (echocardiogram, ECG, MRI). It will be much easier to understand your condition and the needed precautions if you have these documents with you should you become ill and need medical attention.
  • If you are planning to be away from home for a prolonged length of time with school or work, ask for the name of a physician specializing in congenital heart problems who practices in that area.
  • Have a wallet card with your cardiologist’s name and phone number with you. The 24-hour number for the Heart Institute is 613-761-4708; a nursing coordinator is available to assist you and has access to your clinic chart.

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