5.3 By the beginning of 2009, the EHDI Program will collaborate with the Bureau of Vital Statistics to receive monthly lists of children born outside of hospitals in order to follow-up on their hearing screening status.
5.4 By early 2010, the EHDI Program will develop and distribute a joint newsletter with the Newborn Metabolic Screening Program on a quarterly basis to all primary care providers (including midwives, nurse practitioners, and community health aides/practitioners) that provides information on number of screens, missed infants, where to go for screening, and any important updates.
In the State of Alaska, approximately 4.6% of infants are born outside of birthing hospitals either in private homes or free standing birthing centers. Screening equipment is in place in eight public health centers in communities where there is not a birthing hospital or there is a high rate of out of hospital births. In addition, several birthing hospitals will screen infants born out of hospital for free or a reduced charge as a means to increase access to newborn hearing screening and meet the one month goal of the National 1-3-6 Goals. Cards with the locations for these centers and participating hospitals that can provide screens have been printed. These cards will soon be distributed to providers in the communities listed on the cards. The EHDI Program Manager will continue to distribute these cards at community visits to primary care providers, birthing centers, lay midwives, and early intervention providers. In addition to distributing these cards and EHDI brochures, focus will be placed on educating birthing center staff on the EHDI protocol and their responsibility regarding promoting hearing screening as outlined in their recently established birthing center regulations.
The EHDI Program is developing an agreement with the State Bureau of Vital Statistics to receive a monthly list of children born out of hospitals. This list will be matched with the EHDI database for hearing screening and newborn metabolic screen screening results. Analysis of the data will identify if a particular birthing center requires additional education on the EHDI process or on data entry.
Continuing education to primary care providers throughout Alaska regarding the importance of newborn hearing screening and intervention will be offered at private offices, community and tribal health centers. A joint newborn metabolic screening and newborn hearing screening