On March 5th the Center for Disease Control (CDC) released their findings from the EHDI Program data collected from 1999-2007. EHDI programs were created to ensure that newborns and infants obtain hearing screenings and receive the recommended follow-up. We are proud to be a member of this program, and see newborns referred by hospitals, home-birth facilites and pediatricians. With each child that is seen, data is reported to the CDC to inform them of the test results and progress made with each child. The overall goal of this program is to give children born with congenital hearing loss (2-3 out of 1000) the resources necessary for development.
Data released in this report included:
- An increase in infants screened from 46.5% in 1999 to 97.0% in 2007.
- The number of infants documented with hearing loss in 2007 increased by nearly 500 infants among the same 21 states reporting data in 2001 (1,736 identified in 2001 versus 2,212 in 2007).
- Those infants who failed a hearing screening but did not receive a diagnostic evaluation has decreased by 17 percentage points from 2005 (the first year the CDC collected data) to 2007, from 64% to 46%
- The percentage of infants documented to be screened before age 1 month increased from 80% in 2005 to 85% in 2007
- The percentage of infants receiving recommended diagnostic follow-up before age 3 months increased from 54% in 2005 to 66% in 2007,
- The percentage of infants receiving early intervention who were enrolled before 6 months increased from 57% in 2005 to 61% in 2007
The authors indicate that this data analysis demonstrates progress toward achieving benchmarks for hearing screening, evaluation, and intervention and support the continued need to ensure all infants receive timely services and follow-up.