Early Hearing Detection and Intervention A roadmap to success

Specialty Care


Confirm diagnostic audiology appointment at the first visit

Complete Parent Roadmap with families who have a child identified with hearing loss

Complete the Patient Checklist for Primary Care Providers with families who need further screening for hearing loss

Streamline authorizations to eliminate delay of connection to specialty providers such as Ophthalmology, ENT, and genetics 

Offer and provide referral to Minnesota Hands & Voices

Refer to Early Intervention through Help Me Grow

Obtain a consent for release of information at first contact

Respond promptly to the Minnesota Department of Health requests for follow-up information and plans

Closing the follow-up gap: Pediatric Audiology

Specialty Care

All children identified with permanent hearing loss should receive the following specialty care evaluations:

  • Otolaryngology (ENT) Evaluation

    • The ENT physician should have expertise in childhood hearing loss.  The ENT physician is responsible for investigating the etiology of hearing loss and for determining whether medical or surgical intervention may be an appropriate option.  In addition, the ENT physician provides information about and participates in the assessment of the options for amplification, assistive listening devices, and cochlear implantation.  The ENT physician should participate in the long-term monitoring of the child's hearing in partnership with the primary care team.

  • Ophthalmologic Examination

    • Children with hearing loss often have vision problems.  The role of the ophthalmologist is to assess for the presence of syndromic visual loss associated with hearing loss, such as in Usher's syndrome.  Evaluation for more common types of visual impairment, including refractive error,  is essential for children who will likely be strong visual learners.

  • Genetic Evaluation and Counseling

    • Half of all hearing loss is genetic.  The purpose of the evaluation performed by a clinical geneticist is to determine the cause of hearing loss, identify other medical issues that are associated with hearing loss, and develop long-term medical management plans based on associated conditions.

Primary Care providers are encouraged to make these referrals. See MDH Guidelines for Primary Care and Medical Home Providers (updated 2017)

Minnesota EHDI Goals, Indicators, and Benchmarks

Benchmarks have been established by the Newborn Hearing Screening Advisory Committee as standards to be used as a point of reference for evaluating the performance and level of quality of the EHDI system in Minnesota.

Indicator 3.1:  Percent of infants with hearing loss who received ENT/Otolaryngology evaluation by 4 months of age

Annual Percentages:

2011 - 48.7%

2012 - 50.8%

2013 - 49.7%

2014 - 57.6%

2015 - 60.5%

(after 2015, ENT evaluation dates were not collected routinely)