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It has become particularly important during the COVID-19 public health emergency to find alternative ways to deliver patient care. Telehealth has emerged as a primary method to reduce patient and physician exposure, while ensuring delivery of needed health care.

These FAQs are based on expert opinion and intended to supplement guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Practice Advisory with information on how to optimize patient care in the context of COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation and ACOG encourages local facilities and systems, with input from their obstetrics and gynecology care professionals, to develop innovative protocols that meet the care needs of their patients while considering CDC guidance, guidance from local and state health departments, local prevalence, community spread, health care personnel availability, access to readily available local resources, geography, and coordination with other centers.

As ACOG members continue to provide patient care during this time, we understand that both they and their patients have questions about women's health during the pandemic. These FAQs were developed by several task forces assembled of practicing obstetrician–gynecologists and ACOG members who are on the front line caring for patients during this pandemic and who have expertise in obstetrics, maternal–fetal medicine, gynecology, gynecologic subspecialties, pediatric and adolescent gynecology, infectious disease, hospital systems, telehealth, and ethics.

This is a rapidly changing landscape, and FAQs will be added or modified on a regular basis as the pandemic evolves and additional information becomes available. For additional information, see the Physician FAQs.

For more information related to COVID-19, please visit the COVID-19 Topic Page.

Telehealth and Preventive Services

Providing preventive care, especially during the current global health crisis, continues to be essential. Because of COVID-19 CDC guidelines, social distancing policies, and stay at home orders (varying from state to state), the Women’s Preventive Services Initiative (WPSI) recognizes the complications and barriers to providing in-person preventive service visits.

WPSI encourages health care professionals to continue to offer preventive services for their patients through telehealth platforms whenever possible. Health care professionals should consider telehealth modalities as an alternative to in-person preventive visits and services. Each practice (large or small), hospital, or other health care setting should evaluate their local or regional situation to determine the best strategy for preserving resources to care for patients with COVID-19 infection, while continuing to manage care for patients who are not infected with the COVID-19 virus. In making these decisions, health care professionals should consider factors such as the patient population; availability of local and regional resources, including staffing and personal protective equipment; prevalence of COVID-19 in the regional area; and type of practice (eg, solo or small group practice, multispecialty group practice, hospital-based clinics). Currently, there is no single solution applicable to all situations.

WPSI has worked alongside our partners to identify telehealth resources that can help clinicians to continue to provide health care to their patients. Please see below for additional resources as well as Frequently Asked Questions. For COVID-19 resources, click here

A PDF of these FAQs can be downloaded from the WPSI website.

 

If you have unanswered COVID-19 questions or comments, please send them to covid@acog.org.

Suggested Citation

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. COVID-19 FAQs for obstetricians-gynecologists, telehealth. Washington, DC: ACOG; 2020. Available at: https://www.acog.org/clinical-information/physician-faqs/covid-19-faqs-for-ob-gyns-telehealth. Retrieved [enter date].

 

COVID-19 FAQs

Clinical Information

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This document has been developed to respond to some of the questions facing clinicians providing care during the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation. As the situation evolves, this document may be updated or supplemented to incorporate new data and relevant information. This information is designed as an educational resource to aid clinicians in providing obstetric and gynecologic care, and use of this information is voluntary. This information should not be considered as inclusive of all proper treatments or methods of care or as a statement of the standard of care. It is not intended to substitute for the independent professional judgment of the treating clinician. Variations in practice may be warranted when, in the reasonable judgment of the treating clinician, such course of action is indicated by the condition of the patient, limitations of available resources, or advances in knowledge or technology. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reviews its publications regularly; however, its publications may not reflect the most recent evidence. Any updates to this document can be found on acog.org or by calling the ACOG Resource Center.

While ACOG makes every effort to present accurate and reliable information, this publication is provided “as is” without any warranty of accuracy, reliability, or otherwise, either express or implied. ACOG does not guarantee, warrant, or endorse the products or services of any firm, organization, or person. Neither ACOG nor its officers, directors, members, employees, or agents will be liable for any loss, damage, or claim with respect to any liabilities, including direct, special, indirect, or consequential damages, incurred in connection with this publication or reliance on the information presented.

All ACOG committee members and authors have submitted a conflict of interest disclosure statement related to this published product. Any potential conflicts have been considered and managed in accordance with ACOG’s Conflict of Interest Disclosure Policy. The ACOG policies can be found on acog.org. For products jointly developed with other organizations, conflict of interest disclosures by representatives of the other organizations are addressed by those organizations. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has neither solicited nor accepted any commercial involvement in the development of the content of this published product.