Newborn Screening Information for Providers:
Hearing Screening for Primary Care Providers
Primary care providers should review hearing screening results with the infant’s parent(s) at the first clinic visit. If results have not arrived by the first visit, providers should contact the birth hospital or NICU that cared for the newborn and request that the results be faxed as soon as possible.
The Newborn Screening Program recommends that providers review the chart of each newborn seen in clinic to make sure that a hearing screen was performed and that any necessary follow-up has been initiated.
All newborns who do not pass or receive REFER results on the initial screen in one or both ears must be rescreened. Objective hearing rescreening can be performed as an outpatient in the hospital nursery, at the clinic, or at a visit with an audiologist.
There are two screening technologies that are appropriate for objective newborn hearing screening: automated auditory brainstem response (AABR) and otoacoustic emissions (OAE). Both of these screening methods do not require a behavioral response from the infant and have proven to be effective screening measures.
Both ears must pass a single screening to be considered as an overall passing result. Combining passing results in opposite ears on successive screens does not make a passing result. If the infant receives a REFER result or does not pass the rescreen, the family should be referred to an audiologist or ENT who specializes in evaluating young children as soon as possible. All rescreening should be complete by one month post-partum.
DO NOT DELAY FOLLOW-UP. Although hearing screening has an inherently high false positive rate, ignoring abnormal screening results can lead to delayed diagnosis of hearing loss.
All hearing evaluations performed after the initial newborn hearing screening must be reported by the clinic to MDH. The Newborn Screening Program requests that providers complete the Hearing Report for the Newborn Screening Program with the infant’s rescreen results and scheduled follow-up appointment details, and fax or mail it to the Newborn Screening Program as soon as possible. This form is available to download from the Education Materials and Forms page.
Newborn Screening Program
601 Robert Street North
PO Box 64899
Saint Paul, MN 55164
Signed, written consent from parents for submitting results to MDH is no longer necessary under the mandatory hearing screening law.
The Minnesota Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) website provides many resources for primary care providers including best practice guidelines, tools for improvement, and free education materials.