Provide primary care providers with resources and tools, to support patient engagement and continued screening efforts with subsequent waves of the pandemic.
Recommendation 1: Engage and communicate with primary care providers about cancer screening on an ongoing basis during COVID-19.
Key evidence and implementation considerations
- Support primary care providers in appropriate use of resources and infrastructures through education on recommended screening practices (e.g. health care professional training on community realities and cultural safety is embedded in the system).
- Support primary care providers to adopt high value screening practices, discard low value practices, reduce inequities and increase awareness of COVID-19 impact on population and culture.
- Include primary care providers on communications with the screening participants to ensure they remain abreast of the individuals progress through screening and follow up procedures.
- Ontario guidance emphasizes requirements for coordination between care providers (e.g. primary care, colposcopists, endoscopists and screening sites) to facilitate participant referrals.
- Provide specific training to communicate the importance of cancer screening during the pandemic and respond to factors which contribute to barriers to screening (e.g., concerns regarding exposure to COVID-19, travel limitations, line-ups)
- Utilizing virtual mechanisms to delivery care can strengthen occupational health of healthcare providers.
For more information and references, download the guidance document Management of Cancer Screening Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Building Resilient, Safer & Equitable Screening Services.
COVID-19 resources are available to support and optimize screening restoration.