By providing timely services at all steps along the continuum of the early hearing detection and intervention (EHDI) process, providers may be able to lessen potential adverse effects of late identification of hearing loss on children's language development.
To examine the timeliness of key events in the EHDI process from birth through diagnosis of hearing loss among different populations.
Data pooled from 9 states' EHDI information systems were used to determine the extent to which timely screening and diagnosis were achieved by 754 613 infants born in calendar year 2017. Enrollment into early intervention for children diagnosed is not examined here due to incomplete data.
Nine state EHDI programs were selected to participate in this study for their successful experience in using EHDI-IS to collect detailed child-level data.
Main Outcome Measures:
Age of service, rate of service receipt.
Median age of newborn hearing screening was 1 day, and median age of hearing loss diagnosis was 68 days. Early completion of newborn hearing screening was associated with maternal education, maternal race/ethnicity, and admission into a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Receiving and completing follow-up diagnostic services were associated with maternal education, maternal race/ethnicity, age of screening, and enrollment into the Women, Infants, and Children program.
Timely completion of the newborn hearing screening is achieved by most of the population among the participating states. Increased efforts may be considered by state EHDI programs to provide additional follow-up and education to underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, mothers with less education, and NICU infants and their families as these groups appear to be at an increased risk for delayed diagnostic testing for hearing loss.