Prairie understands that there are many questions and uncertainties about COVID-19. We are prioritizing the health and well-being of our patients and our community by making proactive decisions that support state and federal health officials’ recommendations to contain further spread of COVID-19.
Please review the following guidelines:
Virtual Visits Offered
Patients with urgent needs are still being treated at Prairie Cardiovascular while those with routine follow-up appointments are being given the choice between a face-to-face visit or a virtual video visit. Virtual visits allow providers to interact with patients, assess their condition, prescribe or change medications and answer questions.
Patients who keep their in-person appointments are being called the day before and asked a series of screening questions to determine their risk of exposure to COVID-19. Upon arrival at Prairie, patients are required to have their temperature taken at the door before entering as a further attempt to screen for symptoms of the virus.
Visitors are currently restricted at all Prairie locations. Patients who require support are allowed one approved adult visitor who is cold/flu symptom free. Visitors will also be subject to temperature screening before entering.
High Risk Patients
According to CDC guidelines, those aged 65 and older and those with serious heart conditions are at higher risk for severe illness. Unless there is an urgent need to see a provider in person, these patients are encouraged to schedule video visits or reschedule appointments.
COVID Symptom Instructions
If you are experiencing a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, please call your primary care doctor’s office for direction. Do not come to your Prairie appointment if you are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms. We kindly request that you call (217) 788-0706 to reschedule the appointment. If our colleagues observe any symptoms after a patient enters the clinic, the patient will be isolated for further screening.
We appreciate your understanding during this challenging time. Please visit Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) website for additional information on our systemwide response to COVID-19. Thank you.
View up-to-date information on COVID-19 from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
You can also visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Find A Prairie Doctor
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Leaders In Heart Care
When you need more than a doctor, when you need a heart specialist, Prairie Heart has the answer. From high cholesterol to high blood pressure, aneurysms to arrhythmia, chest pain to cardiac care, the experts at Prairie Heart are prepared to stand by your side throughout your journey towards a healthy heart.
SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT NOW
Fill out the form below.
Prairie Cardiovascular is a national leader in providing high-quality, state-of-the-art heart and vascular care. Making an appointment with our world-class providers couldn’t be easier.
Through our ACCESS Prairie program, your request for an appointment is sent securely to our team of highly trained cardiovascular nurses. They will provide you with personalized assistance in making an appointment with a provider that is best suited to treat your individual heart and vascular needs.
After completing the form, a secure e-mail will be sent to our team of ACCESS Prairie nurses. You will receive a return call within 2 business days.
If you feel this is an emergency, please call 911.
By filling out the form, you agree to receive communication from Prairie Heart.
Or Call us
If you prefer to talk to someone directly, a nurse can be reached by dialing 217-757-6120.
Stories inspire us. Stories help us feel a sense of connection with others. Stories are a part of something bigger than ourselves. At their heart, stories help us heal. We invite everyone to read the stories below and encourage our patients and their families to share their own personal Prairie story.
Hands Only CPR Training
When Steve Pace collapsed on the floor, his wife Carmen dialed 9-1-1 and immediately began chest compressions. She wasn’t certain she was using the proper technique, but doctors, nurses and first responders agree that her quick action saved Steve’s life, keeping him alive until the ambulance arrived.
Inspired by the story of Carmen’s quick thinking, the team at the Prairie Heart Institute launched “Keeping the Pace – Hands Only CPR” training to bring a simpler life-saving technique to the community.
Hands Only CPR is recommended by the American Heart Association for bystanders untrained in CPR. It is also recommended for situations when the rescuer is unable or unwilling to provide mouth-to-mouth ventilations.
To watch the Pace’s video, to learn more or request a Hands Only CPR session in your community, please the button below.
Extravascular Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (EV ICD), Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
New job jitters are normal. But imagine starting a new job with a new pacemaker – the first in the United States and second worldwide to be implanted using investigational technology to treat dangerously fast heart rhythms […]
Aortic Valve Replacement
I wanted to take a moment and say THANK YOU to the TAVR team!!! They were outstanding on so many levels! It all started in April of 2013. My sweet father-in-law, Billy V. Williams, was having fainting spells and was later told it was related to his heart. After a multitude of testing, decisions had […]
CABG, Cardiac Catheterization, Chest Pain
I lost my dad on Feb. 4, 2017, just 5 days shy of his 89th birthday. As a child I always saw my dad as invincible. He was my protector, my life coach, my hero!! As an adult, I realized he may not always be around but I knew as long as he walked this […]
We Are Innovators
The last thing you need is a surgery that requires a long recovery time. At Prairie Heart, we specialize in innovative, minimally invasive surgeries that not only get the job done, but also get you back to being you faster than traditional procedures.
Living A Heart Healthy Life
Here at Prairie, we are altering the course of heart disease with a transformational new approach to living. The Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program is the only program scientifically proven to reverse the progression of heart disease through significant changes in lifestyle. The choices we make in our lives have a powerful effect on our health. It’s never been a better time to make those choices count. This program is the only one of its kind in the Midwest and is offered exclusively through Prairie Cardiovascular.
Undo Your Heart Disease
The nationally recognized Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program through Prairie Cardiovascular is the only scientifically proven program to stop the progression and even reverse the effects of heart disease.
Care Close to Your Home
We are blessed to live in a region with strong communities in which we feel comfortable and content. But when we have a heart problem that may require specialized care, it often means we are faced with the choice of leaving our community or worse, putting off care. This is not the case when your specialized care is provided by the Doctors of Prairie cardiologists. Our philosophy at Prairie Heart Institute is to deliver as much care as possible locally. If that is not possible, then and only then, will travel be recommended.
Find A Provider Near You
In addition to nearly 40 sites around Illinois where Prairie cardiologists see patients in a local hospital setting, there are specialized programs in Springfield, O’Fallon, Carbondale, Decatur, Effingham and Mattoon.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack, Dial Don’t Drive.
Please call 911 and wait for help.
Dial, Don’t Drive
This year alone, 1.2 million Americans will suffer a cardiac emergency. Unfortunately, about one third of these patients will die before they reach the hospital for one critical reason – a delay in receiving crucial medical treatment.
WHEN CHEST PAIN OCCURS, BE SMART – ALWAYS DIAL, NEVER DRIVE.
Far too many heart attack patients drive themselves or have a family member drive them to the hospital. Thankfully, there is a way to help reduce these devastating statistics. “It’s About Time” is a program developed by the Chest Pain Network of the Prairie Heart Institute of Illinois (PHII), connecting hospitals and EMS agencies for the fastest and best care for chest pain patients. Always call 911 for medical help – never drive yourself – when heart attack warning symptoms occur.
When experiencing the signs of a heart attack, every second you save can mean the difference between irreversible heart damage or a treatable condition, and even life or death. By dialing 911 first, treatment begins the moment emergency responders arrive. EMS professionals and other first responders can:
- Assess your situation immediately
- Instantly forward your vitals and EKG information to any hospital within The PHII Chest Pain Network
- Administer treatment in the ambulance
- Ensure the hospital heart team will be waiting and ready for your arrival
- Effectively speed the time from heart attack symptom to treatment
Preparation Tips 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. You can find an easy form to list all of your medications here.
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.
General Help Available
If you have any questions about your upcoming visit, please get in touch.
Requesting a release of information or records
The Compliance Department processes all requests for release of patient information. To assist patients in accessing their personal healthcare information (hard copies of medical records), patients should thoroughly complete the Prairie Cardiovascular Consultants Authorization to Use and/or Disclose Protected Information form.
All completed, signed and dated Authorization forms may be returned to:
OR E-mail: HIPAA2@prairieheart.com
OR fax directly to the Compliance Department: 217-522-0568
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the fees associated with requesting medical records?
How do I obtain copies of my medical records?
- An Authorization to Use/Disclose Protected Health Information must be signed by the patient or patient representative.
- To obtain an Authorization to Use/Disclose Protected Health Information form click here.
- Please click here for instructions on how to complete the Authorization to Use/Disclose Protected Health Information.
- If you are unable to print the form, please contact us via the contact information.
- Once the completed, signed and dated authorization has been received by the Compliance Department, the requested information will be sent to the recipient.
When does the authorization expire?
Where do I mail my completed authorization?
Attention: Compliance Department
619 E. Mason Street
Springfield, IL 62701
What is the fax number to send my completed authorization?
Can I e-mail my completed authorization?
What do I need to receive medical records on a deceased patient?
A deceased person’s health information may be released upon written request from the executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate or an agent appointed by the deceased.
What if there is no agent for the deceased?
If there is no executor, administrator, or agent and the person did not specifically object to disclosure of his or her medical records in writing then a deceased person’s health information may be released upon the receipt of the following form: Authorized Relative Certification form
How long will it take to receive my medical records?
- For a medical record release, it can take up to 30 days to receive your records. We process requests in the order they are received. However, upcoming appointments, procedures, and emergencies are processed as a STAT request.
- We may be able to process a request same-day, given staffing and information is complete and available. You may contact the Compliance Department to check on the status of your request.
Who processes my medical record release?
Can I sign an authorization form and pick up the medical records at the same time?
Can someone other than the patient pick up my medical records?
Can I use the same request to send records to different locations?
Do I need a separate authorization for each PCC physician?
Why must the authorization be in writing with a date of signature?
If I download the Prairie Heart Institute of Illinois APP on my phone or tablet or sign-up for your newsletter, how do you use my information?
Download the Prairie App
The Prairie Heart Institute App makes it easy to stay connected. With a touch of a button, find a Prairie Heart doctor or bring up directions to a Prairie Heart location close to you. Within the app, the “MyPrairie” digital wallet card section lets you store all your physicians’ contact information, your medications, allergies, insurance information and pharmacy contact.
Notice of Nondiscrimination: English
Prairie Cardiovascular is a provider of cardiovascular health care and treatments in multiple locations throughout central Illinois. Our organization provides the best cardiologists in the state, with renowned surgical precision and professional advice on heart-related concerns. We test and medically treat for all common heart symptoms such as chest pains, hypertension, high blood pressure, murmurs, palpitations, high cholesterol, and disease. We have several locations including major cities such as Decatur, Carbondale, O’Fallon, and Springfield.