All US states and territories have an Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program to facilitate early hearing evaluation and intervention for infants who are deaf or hard of hearing. To ensure efficient coordination of care, the state EHDI programs rely heavily on audiologists’ prompt reporting of a newborn’s hearing status. Several states have regulations requiring mandatory reporting of a newborn’s hearing status. This is an important public health responsibility of pediatric audiologists. Reasons for failing to report vary.
The Early Hearing Detection and Intervention-Pediatric Audiology Links to Services (EHDI) facility survey was used to inform reporting compliance of audiology facilities throughout the United States. The survey was disseminated via articles, newsletters, and call-to-action notices to audiologists.
Among 1024 facilities surveyed, 88 (8.6%) reported that they did not report newborn’s hearing findings to their state EHDI program. Not knowing how to report to the state EHDI program was the most frequently chosen reason (60%). However, among the 936 facilities that were compliant with the reporting requirements, 51 estimated that they reported less than two-third of all hearing evaluation results (5.4%). Some facilities did not report a normal-hearing result and some failed to report because they assumed another facility would report the hearing results.
Survey results indicated that audiologists were compliant reporting hearing results to the state EHDI programs. However, there is room for improvement. Regular provider outreach and training by the state EHDI program is necessary to ensure those who are not reporting will comply and to clarify reporting requirements for those who are already compliant.