The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) embraces our commitment to assure the continued well-being of our patients and communities. Communities and individuals are limiting physical interactions during the COVID-19 health crisis, and health care providers and systems have also implemented or expanded virtual services (such as telehealth or telemedicine) for services that can be delivered without an in-person visit.
However, many clinical preventive services such as immunizations and screening tests cannot be provided without an in-person visit to a health care setting. ACPM recommends that most adult clinical preventive services that must be offered in-person be postponed during this pandemic, with two exceptions:
- When a patient must be seen in a clinical setting for another reason, clinicians are encouraged to consider whether preventive services can be provided safely during that visit.
- If a clinician and patient determine the potential benefit of the service outweighs the risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2.
For preventive services offered to children, ACPM endorses the American Academy of Pediatrics guidance for well-child care.
Patients who are concerned about not receiving a preventive service, or who are in the midst of receiving a service that occurs over multiple visits such as an immunization series, are encouraged to contact their health care provider to discuss when and how to receive or continue the service. When recommended clinical preventive services are postponed, we encourage patients and clinicians to track services that are due and reschedule them as soon as it is safe to do so.