Newborn Screening Information for Providers:
Hearing Screening for Primary Care Providers
Newborn Hearing Screening Follow-up
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, please contact the birth hospital or NICU that cared for the newborn and request that the results be faxed as soon as possible.
Providers are responsible for reviewing 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 scheduled.
All newborns who do not pass or receive REFER results on the final inpatient newborn screening in one or both ears, need to be scheduled for hearing follow-up. Infants from the well-baby nursery should be scheduled for outpatient rescreening ideally by two weeks post-partum. Objective outpatient hearing rescreening can be performed as an outpatient in the hospital nursery, at the clinic if appropriate equipment is available, or with an audiologist. Either automated auditory brainstem response (AABR) or otoacoustic emissions (OAE) is considered an acceptable measure for rescreening healthy newborns, regardless of the type of technology used for the initial screening. Both ears must pass a single screening to be considered an overall passing result.
All hearing screening / rescreening must be complete by 1 month post-partum. If the infant does not pass the outpatient rescreen, diagnostic ABR should immediately be scheduled with an audiologist specializing in diagnostic evaluation of young children. Complete audiologic diagnosis should not be delayed due to suspected middle ear dysfunction.
For infants from the NICU who REFER, complete diagnostic audiologic assessment (prior to discharge when possible) is warranted as soon as medically feasible. If AABR technology resulted in a REFER inpatient result, an NICU infant should NOT be reassessed using OAE alone.
DO NOT DELAY FOLLOW-UP for hearing. Minnesota’s birth facilities overall meet the recommended refer rate of <4% at hospital discharge. Therefore, infants who REFER are at risk and are in need of immediate follow-up. Postponing follow-up on abnormal screening results can lead to delayed diagnosis of hearing loss, which can delay speech and language development.
Reporting Rescreen Results and Follow-up Arrangements
All hearing evaluations performed after the initial newborn hearing screening must be reported to the Newborn Screening Program by the unit, clinic, or audiologist completing the assessment. Follow-up providers are required to 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 our staff 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 the Newborn Screening Program 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.