Birth Facilities

How should the birth facility inform parents of the newborn hearing screening results?

The person performing the hearing screening should give parents the following information in clear, non-technical terms and in the native language of the family:

  • Provide results of the screening whether the newborn passed or did not pass the hearing screening and what the results mean. The results should be conveyed verbally and in writing to the parents using a standard notification form prepared explicitly for this purpose.
  • Provide written notification to parents if an infant needs a repeat hearing screening. If the infant did not pass the initial screening the parents should understand the importance of obtaining a repeat hearing screening as soon as possible.
  • Schedule the repeat hearing screening appointment with parents prior to discharge if an infant does not pass the initial screening. If the infant is discharged from the NICU, refer the family to a pediatric audiologist for a diagnostic evaluation. NOTE: It is recommended that a birth facility have a formal or informal relationship with an audiology facility to refer families for a diagnostic evaluation.
  • If the initial screening was not competed (the baby was missed or results were incomplete) prior to discharge, it is the birth facility's responsibility to provide the initial hearing screening to the newborn after discharge and to make an appointment for this hearing screening before the newborn is discharged.
  • Provide all parents with information on milestones of normal auditory, speech and language development in children.

NIDCD Speech and Language Developmental Milestones

There are two parent brochures that birth facilities can use if they do not have their own: one describes newborn hearing screening and the other informs parents that their baby did not pass the newborn hearing screening and needs further testing.  "Can Your Baby Hear: Your Baby's First Hearing Test" (English) and "Your Baby Needs Another Hearing Test: Finding Hearing Loss Early Can Make a Big Difference in Your Baby's Life" (English|Spanish).

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The Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention Program of the PA Department of Health (PA DOH) works with birth facilities to ensure that all newborns receive a hearing screening no later than 1 month of age. Birth facilities report newborns who did not pass their hearing screening or did not receive a newborn hearing screening to PA DOH for follow-up. Birth facilities also report newborn hearing screening results to the baby’s primary care physician for follow-up.

Find out more about the Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention Program

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