Heart Institute
What to Expect

What to Expect at Your First Appointment at the Heart Institute

The goal of the Heart Institute is to provide the best possible care for patients with pediatric and adult congenital heart disease. That’s why Cincinnati Children’s and Kentucky Children’s Hospital have teamed up to provide the Joint Pediatric and Congenital Heart Program, which is an innovative collaboration dedicated to providing world-class heart care closer to home. While processes vary slightly (depending on whether you're an inpatient or outpatient, or the type of care you need) most patients begin their care with us by seeing a doctor at one of our many convenient pediatric and adult congenital heart clinics offered throughout Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

Making an Appointment at the Heart Institute

You can contact us directly to schedule an appointment. Or your child's pediatrician or provider can refer your child to one of our clinics. We also accept referrals from the emergency department and other hospitals. Our goal is to match you with a location close to your home, but we also strive to see you within three days of scheduling your appointment.

Before Your Appointment

To prepare for your upcoming visit:

  • Gather information about symptoms, health history and past treatments.
  • Collect past test results and medical records.
  • Bring these materials with you to your visit.

On the Day of Your Visit to the Heart Institute

Arriving At Your Appointment

Depending upon which clinic you will be visiting, you may need to arrive about 30 minutes before your or your child's appointment—15 minutes to park and walk to the clinic and 15 minutes to check in at our registration desk. Please activate your MyChart account during registration to keep in contact with your care team after the visit.

At Your Appointment

Your first visit to the Heart Institute may take as long as two to three hours. We will spend time talking with you and your child about what has brought you to see us. Our goal is to limit the number of appointments you need to make, so we will try to finish as much testing as we can during this visit. We will make a plan for the future—determining whether you or your child needs genetic testing, imaging tests or lab work. We will also discuss whether surgery is an option, either now or in the future.

After Your Visit to the Heart Institute

You will receive an "After-Visit Summary" at the end of your appointment, which includes important information about upcoming appointments and testing, referrals to specialists, and a listing of all medications (including new prescriptions). It will also include contact information for your child's care team.