Heart Failure Clinic - What To Expect

Heart failure is a progressive condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. As the heart’s pumping action weakens, blood backs up into the blood vessels around the lungs and causes fluid to accumulate in the lungs.

People who have extra fluid in or around their lungs can become short of breath. The fluid may also collect in other tissues of the body, which can cause swelling (usually the legs or abdomen).While there is no cure, proper treatment and follow up can help people live longer and more active lives.

You are the most important person in managing your health. You can prevent or reduce the number of hospital visits related to heart failure with treatment, careful monitoring, education and diligent self-assessment.

Developing an individualized program for you

At St. Joseph’s Heart Failure Clinic an individualized program will be developed for you.

The clinic provides the following: 

  • Comprehensive medical assessment with multiple appointments scheduled on the same day as well as ongoing support through follow-up visits and telephone monitoring.
  • Testing and development of treatment plan tailored to individual patient needs. 
  • Assistance with managing medication and therapies 
  • Ongoing patient and family education about the disease process, diet, lifestyle, self-monitoring, symptom recognition and self-assessment
  • Follow-up support for a variety of implanted devices including pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillator 
  • Optimization of quality of life, symptom management and prevention of hospital admissions

Your first visit

  • During your first visit you may be booked for various tests such as blood work and an echocardiogram, depending on your needs. Other testing may be arranged at a later date. 
  • A medical assessment will be done by the clinic’s registered nurse and/or nurse practitioner, and consultation with a cardiologist will occur.
  • An  individualized treatment plan will be developed for you
  • You will receive education, including printed materials, to help you understand heart failure. 
  • You will receive an appointment for follow up care

What to bring

Please bring all your prescription and over-the-counter medication containers.  

Alternately, you can bring a printed pharmacy list or blister package of the medications you’re taking.

Subsequent visits

Follow up visits will be booked by your care team based on your individualized care plan. You may or may not see the same nurse, nurse practitioner or cardiologist at each visit as this clinic is run using a team-based approach to care.

As you continue with follow up appointments, you will become familiar with all members of our team.

If you are experiencing health issues between your scheduled visits, please feel free to contact your heart failure nurse by phone at 519 646-6100 ext. 61700 and we will call you back within 48 hours. 

Not a walk-in clinic

The Heart Failure Clinic is not a walk-in clinic. A referral from a medical doctor is required to become a patient at the clinic and an initial appointment is needed to be seen by the care team. However, we will try our very best to ensure you are seen as quickly as possible.

We are also available to patients by phone for discussions and care planning to help with symptom management at 519 646-6100 ext. 61700 for patients after they have had their initial appointment with the care team.