Follow-up after a failed newborn hearing screen: a quality improvement study.

Christy M. Cockfield, Gloria D. Garner, Jack C. Borders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS) has been implemented for several decades to screen for congenital hearing loss; however, the lost to follow-up (LFU) rate for newborns with a failed screen is nearly 50%. Many studies have examined risk factors rendering infants susceptible to being LFU, but there are no quality improvement studies using evidence-based practice that aim to improve follow-up rates. This study utilized a nurse practitioner (NP) to provide a teaching intervention to educate parents on recommended follow-up after a failed hearing screen, including the Healthy People 2020 objectives. Seventeen newborn/mother couplets were recruited to participate in a multi-site quality improvement project over a six week period prior to hospital discharge. At the bedside with the NP, mothers completed a demographic survey and were provided education on Georgia's UNHS Program and recommended follow-up based on the Healthy People 2020 objectives. An appointment with the hospital's audiologist was given to the mother in writing. A retrospective chart review was performed three months after the newborn's birth to document follow-up with audiology or to see if the infant was lost to follow-up for audiologic evaluation (LFUAE). Of the 17 newborns enrolled, 14 had adequate follow-up with audiology within three months of birth. Hospital A showed statistical significance with one newborn that was LFUAE when compared to the nation LFU rate (n=12, p=0.01). Prior to project intervention, Hospital B had a 70% LFUAE rate; however, its post intervention LFUAE rate decreased to 40% (n=5). Statistical significance was unable to be obtained due to small sample size. Two mothers reported smoking during pregnancy and both of their newborns were LFUAE. This project suggests that education by the NP prior to hospital discharge was statistically significant at Hospital A. Health care providers should actively engage in educating parents regarding expected follow-up guidelines and incorporating the Healthy People 2020 objectives. Further studies are needed that can also examine the six month follow-up with pediatric otolaryngology for hearing aid fitting and early intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-13
Number of pages5
JournalUnknown Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Follow-up after a failed newborn hearing screen: a quality improvement study.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this