primary care provider of record. If a fax is not returned to the EHDI office with documentation on follow-up screening, the EHDI Program Manager will contact the office of the primary care provider by telephone to determine the status of follow-up.
Another critical element to identifying infants/children lost to follow-up is to improve collaboration and establish a MOA, with the State’s EI/ILP Program. EI/ILP resides in a different division than EHDI Program within the Department of Health and Social Services. Intervention services are provided by 17 grantees, located in non-profit agencies throughout the State of Alaska. The Consultation and Education for Early Hearing Impairment (CEEHI) Program provides educational consultation to the grantees. The CEEHI Program is located in Anchorage and their staff, educators with a specialty in working with infants/children who are deaf or hard of hearing, provide itinerant services throughout Alaska.
Developing a MOA will be the first step in implementing a system for release of information to the State EHDI Program. This release of information will satisfy FERPA/HIPAA requirements. Upon first contact with EI/ILP, parents will be asked to sign a consent form for data sharing. This will allow a match of children who are identified with hearing loss and are enrolled in early intervention services, with entries in the State EHDI database. Through this match, the State EHDI Program will also identify children with a hearing loss who are not enrolled in EI/ILP. The EHDI Program manager will contact those families to ensure they are informed of service options and opportunities for parent to parent contact. The State EHDI Program can also match this information with audiology data to determine the length of time from diagnosis to enrollment in early intervention services.
Finally, a third model for improvement involves matching weekly birth lists faxed to the State to the hearing screening data entered by the birthing facilities. Currently, this birth list is matched against the list of children with metabolic screening specimens sent to the Oregon Public Health Laboratory to ensure that all infants are receiving a metabolic screen. This matching system will be modified and used to track and follow-up both screening programs using the OZ Systems database once the metabolic data integration is in place.