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in a different division, the Office of Children’s Services (child protection services).  Once an MOA is in place on the State level, the 17 grantees that implement early intervention programs throughout the State can obtain releases from families to report children with hearing loss to the EHDI program.  This will provide information on which children are receiving intervention from EI/ILP when compared with those in the EHDI database.  This data match will assist in identifying children lost to follow-up and the State’s timeliness in meeting the National EHDI 1-3-6 Goals.

Challenge #3: Staff shortages and staff turnover are a significant ongoing challenge in Alaska.  They occur at all levels and impact all components of the EHDI process including:  birth screeners, audiologists, early interventionists, speech/language pathologists and physicians.  Staff turnover also affects the quality of data entry.  Consistency in data entry and weekly reporting are necessary in order for the EHDI Program Manager and EHDI Health Program Associate to follow-up on missed and failed screens.

Possible Resolution: Ongoing training on data entry will improve accuracy of data and opportunities to train new birth screeners.  Communication venues are essential to ameliorate the impact of ongoing turnover.  Site visits, quarterly teleconferences and practice profiles provide mechanisms for consistency in EHDI data collection and ongoing information on the EHDI process.  In addition the EHDI mandate which takes effect January 2008 will require timely reporting by all birthing hospitals, audiologists and EI/ILP.

Challenge #4: Challenges to follow-up occurs in all communities, not just those in rural Alaska.  These challenges include how information is relayed to parents and primary care providers regarding missed or failed screens.  

Possible Resolution: Solutions supported by this grant will focus on how results are transmitted to primary care providers and parents by birthing hospitals.  A model for improvement will address this challenge.  In addition, the AAP Chapter Champion will communicate with physicians across the State regarding the responsibility of primary care providers to look for

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