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PHOM Indicator Profile Report of Newborn Hearing Screening

Why Is This Important?

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.

Newborn Hearing Screening ENT-VSL-1.1: Screening for Hearing Loss No Later Than Age 1 Month, Utah, 2010-2016

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Screening for hearing loss is completed by hospital staff prior to discharge or for infants born outside a hospital setting by the attending midwife or other community provider. Screening is accomplished through automated auditory brainstem response (A-ABR) or otoacoustic emissions (OAE) in accordance with the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (JCIH, 2007).

Data Source

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

Data Notes

New hearing screening objectives adopted in 2010 therefore trend data begins in 2010. Infants should be screened by 1 month of age. Infants not screened include infants who are deceased, refused screening, or lost to follow-up.

Risk Factors

The National Joint Committee on Infant Hearing, Year 2007 Position Statement lists hearing risk factors which are addressed by Utah newborn hearing programs. [] Appendix 2, Page 24.

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).

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.

Healthy People Objective: 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

Date Indicator Content Last Updated: 10/15/2018

Other Views

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, 17 August 2019 21:07:25 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Thu, 20 Jun 2019 13:03:28 MDT