Early Hearing Detection and Intervention A roadmap to success

Inpatient screening: at birth


Standardize the process for documenting all newborn screening results in the hospital records

Record and report the results accurately to the state EHDI program via the blood specimen card

Standardize communications (written and verbal) with parents about newborn screening results

Verify the PCP/Medical Home before discharge (vital to ensure accurate follow-up)

Communicate did not pass results to the PCP/Medical Home as a modified critical value requiring confirmation

Identify two points of contact for families of infants who did not pass (i.e. a relative or friend)

Provide clear communication about next steps

Schedule the follow-up appointment prior to discharge, stressing importance with families

Offer a referral to local public health for infants who did not pass

Closing the follow-up gap: Inpatient screening

Role of Inpatient Screening Staff

Important Steps to Cover

  • Educate parents about newborn hearing screening

  • Prepare quiet infant for screening

  • Screen both ears (ABR Tips, OAE Testing Steps & Do's and Don'ts)

  • Rescreen before discharge if initial result is a REFER (REFER = Not Passing Result)

  • Document final inpatient result in:

  • Report final inpatient results to the parent, primary care provider, and MDH Newborn Screening Program

  • Schedule follow-up appointment prior to discharge for infants who do not pass

  • Have a plan for missed screens, transfers (in and out; Newborn Hearing Screening Transfer Form), and equipment breakdown

Tips For Improvement

Misconception: Abnormal OAE’s along with flat tympanograms (normal volume) confirms a conductive hearing loss

Clinical Fact: Diagnostic ABR including bone conduction testing is needed in combination with OAE’s and tympanograms for a complete diagnosis of type and degree of hearing loss in each ear


Misconception: Hearing screening is not needed if there is no family history of hearing loss

Clinical Fact: More than 90% of infants with hearing loss have two parents with normal hearing


Misconception: Babies need to be sedated to complete ABR testing

Clinical Fact: Babies younger than 3 months can typically be tested without need for sedation


More Hearing Screening Myths and Clinical Facts