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NCHAM: National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management, Utah State University

Why Does it Take so Long to Complete the Audiologic Process?

a baby getting a hearing screening

Presented by: Ian Ng and Thiravat Choojitarom

When: February 18th, 1:30 ET

Where: Adobe Connect

Abstract

Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) programs are designed to detect congenital and early acquired hearing loss and provide infants and their families with appropriate intervention services. In Louisiana, all newborns are screened for hearing loss prior to hospital discharge. Infants who do not pass initial screenings are referred for further evaluations to complete audiologic diagnosis by three months of age. Once hearing loss is diagnosed, appropriate intervention services should be initiated before 6 months of age. A prolonged diagnostic process may affect receiving appropriate interventions in a timely manner. Currently, 6.05% (108), 5.12% (174), and 6.14% (208) of children born in 2011, 2012, and 2013 respectively who failed initial hearing screenings are still reported as “audiologic diagnosis in process” (awaiting diagnosis of either normal or abnormal hearing) in Louisiana. An audiologic diagnosis in process is defined if an infant who failed initial screening has been seen by an audiologist or physician at least one time and does not yet have a diagnosis within 6 months of the last appointment. The study aims to define causes and risk factors related to a lengthy or incomplete audiologic diagnosis process. The linked 2011-2013 Louisiana EHDI-IS birth records data will be used for analysis. Audiologists will be contacted to confirm the status of patients when needed. Findings from the study are expected to provide Louisiana EHDI Program with helpful information to develop plans and strategies to improve completion of the diagnostic process in both reporting and practice issues by three months of age. Findings from the study will be presented and discussed during the presentation. Louisiana’s Chapter Champion, Thiravat Choojitarom will contribute to the presentation and discussion from the medical home perspective.

Bio

Mr. Ian Ng has a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. He received his undergraduate degree in Kinesiology at the Michigan State University. He is currently an intern at the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, investigating and analyzing various risk factors for the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program. He has interest in data analysis and research, and has held numerous assistant positions throughout his academic career.

Thiravat Choojitarom, M.D. FAAP, is the EHDI Regional Network Liaison for Region 7, AAP EHDI Chapter Champion for Louisiana, and member Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Council in Louisiana.