Skip directly to searchSkip directly to the site navigationSkip directly to the page's main content

Health Indicator Report of Newborn Hearing Screening

It is extremely important for hearing loss to be detected early to optimize communication development. The most effective method to implement early identification of hearing loss is to screen all babies before they leave the birthing hospital or by two weeks of age to diagnose permanent hearing loss quickly, and begin intervention as soon as possible.
When an infant does not pass newborn hearing screening the infant is referred to an audiologist to perform diagnostic testing. The diagnostic testing should be performed by 3 months of age.

Newborn Hearing Screening ENT-VSL-1.2: Infants Receiving Audiologic Evaluation Following Failed Hearing Screening, Utah, 2010-2016


New hearing screening objectives adopted in 2010 therefore trend data begins in 2010. Approximately 2% of all Utah births require diagnostic follow-up for not passing the newborn hearing screening 2-stage process. Not showing on this graph is that Utah's lost to follow-up rate has also decreased from 67.03% in 2010 to 2.0% in 2016.[[br]] [[br]] Reasons for not having a diagnostic exam are broken out in [[a href="indicator/view/NewHearScr.EvalReas.html" ENT-VSL-1.2 (Part 2): Reasons for No Diagnosis]].

Data Source

NBHS - HI*TRACK Hearing Screening Tracking and Data Management (C) HI*TRACK, Utah State University


Utah has had mandated screening for hearing loss for newborn infants since 1998. Because half of the children with hearing loss have no family history of deafness or hearing loss, universal screening is conducted to detect children with permanent congenital hearing loss (PCHL) as soon as possible. There is good evidence that newborn hearing screening is highly accurate and leads to earlier identification and treatment of infants with hearing loss. Healthy People 2020 Objectives addressed in this report include: * HP 2020 ENT-VSL-1.1 Percentage of newborns who are screened for hearing loss no later than age 1 month. * HP 2020 ENT-VSL-1.2 Percentage of infants who did not pass hearing screening who received audiologic evaluation by age 3 months. * HP 2020 ENT-VSL-1.3 Percentage of infants with confirmed hearing loss enrolled in intervention services no later than age 6 months.


ENT-VSL-1.1 Number of newborns screened for hearing loss by one month of age[[br]] ENT-VSL-1.2 Number of newborns who received an audiologic evaluation following failed hearing screening[[br]] ENT-VSL-1.3 Number of infants with confirmed hearing loss enrolled in Early Intervention


ENT-VSL-1.1 Number of occurrent births in Utah[[br]] ENT-VSL-1.2 Number of infants referred for audiologic evaluation[[br]] ENT-VSL-1.3 Number of infants with confirmed permanent hearing loss

Healthy People Objective ENT-VSL-1:

Increase the proportion of newborns who are screened for hearing loss by no later than age 1 month, have audiologic evaluation by age 3 months, and are enrolled in appropriate intervention services no later than age 6 months
U.S. Target: Not applicable, see subobjectives in this category

Other Objectives

Healthy People 2020 sub-objectives and targets for ENT-VSL-1: {{style color:#003366 ENT-VSL-1.1:}} Increase the proportion of newborns who are screened for hearing loss no later than age 1 month * '''U.S. Target:''' 90.2 percent * '''Utah Target:''' 98.0 percent*[[br]] [[br]] {{style color:#003366 ENT-VSL-1.2:}} Increase the proportion of newborns who receive audiologic evaluation no later than age 3 months for infants who did not pass the hearing screening * '''U.S. Target:''' 72.6 percent * '''Utah Target:''' 86 percent*[[br]] [[br]] {{style color:#003366 ENT-VSL-1.3:}} Increase the proportion of infants with confirmed hearing loss who are enrolled for intervention services no later than age 6 months * '''U.S. Target:''' 55.0 percent * '''Utah Target:''' 64.0 percent* *Utah Target based on CDC-EHDI Grant goals for 2017.

How Are We Doing?

The Utah Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Program within the Utah Department of Health oversees newborn hearing screening in Utah and documents hearing screening on over 98% of newborns. In 2016, 98% of infants with documented screening results were screened by one month of age (as reported to the CDC EHDI Hearing Screening and Follow-up Survey [HSFS]), an increase from 97.4% reported for 2011 births. Many of the infants with screening delayed past one month are NICU (newborn intensive care unit) babies where screening may not be indicated until discharge (often after one month of age), or home births who may not have access to screening before one month. Babies in the diagnostic process may receive confirmation of hearing loss after the optimal 3 month "window" although they received one or more diagnostic evaluations within that time. Utah diagnostic percentages historically included COMPLETED diagnoses only - for 2011, 66% of infants in the diagnostic process had had one audiologic evaluation, but diagnosis was still incomplete i.e., not "confirmed" before 3 months of age. After closely reviewing the recommendations from the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing we updated our reporting process beginning with 2013 data to report infants who have had an initial diagnostic exam prior to 3 months of age. For 2016 reported data, of those who received a diagnostic exam, 82.5% were completed prior to 3 months of age (an increase of 7.9% from 2015).

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

In 2016, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) EHDI data showed that 98% of newborns in the United States (49 states, 7 territories) were screened for hearing loss, with 94.8% screened by one month of age. Of those babies not passing the hearing screening, 62.7% had a diagnostic evaluation; 75.9% were diagnosed as either having or not having a hearing loss before 3 months of age. ''* For data tracking and reporting purposes, those "referred for evaluation" include all infants who did not pass their final hearing screening. While Utah is a 2-stage screening state, this number includes all infants who did not pass both inpatient and outpatient screens and were referred for diagnostic audiology, as well as those infants who did not pass inpatient screening and did not return for outpatient screening.''[[br]] Of infants "referred for evaluation"* in 2016: * % with no loss ** U.S.: 52.9% ** Utah: 55.7% [[br]] *% with hearing loss ** U.S.: 9.7% ** Utah: 23.4%* [[br]] *% still pending (overall loss to follow-up) ** U.S.: 25.4% ** Utah: 14.5% [[br]] *% still pending (loss to follow-up due to Unable to Contact/Unknown) ** U.S.: 18.1% ** Utah: 2.0%[[br]] [[br]] *% still pending (loss to follow-up due to Contacted Unresponsive) ** U.S.: 7.2% ** Utah: 12.5%[[br]] [[br]] National Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) data shows the percent of infants born in 2016 with hearing loss receiving EI (Early Intervention) services by 6 months of age at 67.3%; Utah showed a 81.6% enrollment success rate by 6 months of age for 2016.[[br]] [[br]] ---- Data source: [] Published May 2018

What Is Being Done?

State legislation requires that ALL newborns, including those born at home, must have their hearing screened by one month of age and results reported to the Utah Department of Health. Increased efforts have been focused on providing screening equipment, support, and training for local midwives who collectively birth over 1,000 babies per year. The Utah Newborn Hearing Screening/EHDI Program supports tracking efforts and provides resource information to hospitals, midwives, medical providers, local programs, and families. Improvements in the EHDI tracking surveillance system and decreasing loss to follow-up/documentation has been a priority, as well as matching EHDI data across other state programs (Utah Birth Defects Network, CCHD, Vital Records, etc.) Implementation of the Birth Certificate Alert Program, in collaboration with local health departments, began statewide in 2014. 26 of 29 local health departments are now participating. Alerts to parents applying for their child's birth certificate are generated if their infant has not yet completed the newborn hearing screening process. The Newborn Hearing Screening Committee endorses Healthy People 2020 goals and assesses progress quarterly.

Available Services

Resources for families and providers on deafness and hearing loss, state requirements, intervention services, and related handouts are available at []. Statewide hearing screening and audiology diagnostic providers can be found at: []. Families of infants identified with permanent hearing loss are offered targeted services for deaf and hard of hearing children birth through 3 years of age through the UDOH Baby Watch Early Intervention Program ([ BWEI]) and the Utah School for the Deaf Parent Infant Program ([ USDB]). Families in need of parent to parent support upon initial diagnosis or at any point throughout the EHDI process may contact For up to date resources and community happenings, interested parties can follow the Utah EHDI Family Support and Information Facebook page (@UtahEHDI). Topics of interest to deaf and hard of hearing families are presented live monthly through the Utah EHDI WebinEARS series and are recorded and available on the Facebook page. The Utah Children's Hearing Aid Program (CHAP) provides access to hearing aids to children under 6 years of age for financially eligible families. For more information and/or to apply, visit []
Page Content Updated On 10/15/2018, Published on 11/05/2018
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sat, 19 October 2019 3:26:36 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Thu, 20 Jun 2019 13:03:27 MDT