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Hospitals and Birthing Centers

Infant Hearing Partnership

  • Conduct infant hearing screenings on newborns before hospital discharge as required
  • Designate a hearing screening coordinator who is responsible for the coordination of the facility's hearing screening program and report the name annually to ODH or sooner if there is a change
  • Develop a written protocol that complies with Ohio Administrative Code for hospitals and birthing centers
  • Report hearing screening results, type of testing and applicable risk factors to the baby’s primary care provider or doctor
  • Screenings results or reasons why screenings were not performed are required be reported to the Ohio Department of Health Infant Hearing Program within 10 days of the screening or birth if not screened
  • Follow standard infection control precautions (e.g. hand washing, disinfection of equipment, etc.)
  • Use the Infant Hearing training to hospitals and birthing centers to support the hospital training
  • Infant Hearing memos are provided to  hospitals and birthing centers frequently with important updates or changes



  • Hearing screening is recommended around 12 hours after birth
  • Share the parent brochure and discuss the hearing screening process with parents prior to screening
  • Choose a time when the infant is not being seen by other health care professionals and is medically stable
  • Look for the ideal time to screen the baby as this will provide the best screening outcomes
  • Screen when infant is quiet or sleeping, ideally, one hour after feeding
  • If the conditions are not ideal for screening, use several baby handling and care techniques to make the baby comfortable to perform the screening. Examples of this are provided in the ODH Training and by the manufacturer of the device
  • Consider screening at a later time if the conditions are not ideal for screening
  • The initial screening is required on both ears and a second screening is required on both ears if the baby did not pass the first test in one or both ears
  • Remember to report the results for each ear and screening along with applicable risk factors


Screening Staff

  • Provide hearing screening results in writing to the family
  • Written results are the type(s) of testing, results for each ear and test, and applicable risk factors
  • It’s important for parents to know and understand what type of testing was done and the results for each ear and type of test
  • Talk with the baby’s parents about hearing screening results and next steps
  • Remind parents that the hearing screening is a snapshot in time and the hearing ability can change
  • If the baby does not pass the second screening, let the parents know that the baby needs a hearing evaluation, which is a more detailed hearing test
  • The follow up test is scheduled with a pediatric audiologist who can find the hearing loss if there is one
  • The hearing evaluation is needed to learn more about the baby’s hearing
  • Remind, coach and engage parents about the follow up testing and time frame for follow up
  • The hearing evaluations can be scheduled by the hospital or birthing center before discharge
  • Provide a list of audiology providers that are  close do hearing evaluations
  • Provide information about the Infant Hearing Program
  • More detailed questions can be addressed by the ODH staff



Last updated 10/05/2016