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Article

Development and Implementation of a Low-Cost Tracking System after Newborn Hearing Screening in Upper Austria: Lessons Learned from the Perspective of an Early Intervention Provider

1
Konventhospital Barmherzige Brüder, Institut für Sinnes-und Sprachneurologie, 4020 Linz, Austria
2
Research Institute for Developmental Medicine, Johannes Kepler University Linz, 4040 Linz, Austria
3
Institute of Linguistics, University of Graz, 8010 Graz, Austria
4
State Health Authority of Upper Austria, 4021 Linz, Austria
5
Division of Social Psychiatry, Medical University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Luca Oscar Redaelli de Zinis
Children 2021, 8(9), 743; https://doi.org/10.3390/children8090743
Received: 26 July 2021 / Revised: 21 August 2021 / Accepted: 26 August 2021 / Published: 28 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Newborn Screening)
More than one decade after the introduction of newborn hearing screening in Upper Austria, most children were still older than 6 months at enrolment in early intervention. In this study, under the guidance of health authorities, a revised screening and tracking protocol was developed by a network of early intervention providers and representatives of ENT, obstetrics, and pediatrics, including screening professionals and parents of children with hearing loss. Critical process indicators following internationally recommended benchmarks were defined and collected annually by the health authorities. Due to data protection issues, the data collection system was not personalized. Regular network meetings, case-oriented meetings, and screener training sessions were held. As a result, even without additional costs and within the legal constraints related to data protection in Austria, the proportion of children enrolled in early intervention before 6 months of age was significantly increased from 26% to 81% in two representative birth cohorts before and after the introduction of the new protocol, respectively. The coverage for bilateral screening increased from 91.4 to 97.6% of the total number of births. View Full-Text
Keywords: newborn hearing screening; tracking system; implementation study; pediatric hearing loss; enrolment in early intervention newborn hearing screening; tracking system; implementation study; pediatric hearing loss; enrolment in early intervention
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MDPI and ACS Style

Holzinger, D.; Binder, D.; Raus, D.; Palmisano, G.; Fellinger, J. Development and Implementation of a Low-Cost Tracking System after Newborn Hearing Screening in Upper Austria: Lessons Learned from the Perspective of an Early Intervention Provider. Children 2021, 8, 743. https://doi.org/10.3390/children8090743

AMA Style

Holzinger D, Binder D, Raus D, Palmisano G, Fellinger J. Development and Implementation of a Low-Cost Tracking System after Newborn Hearing Screening in Upper Austria: Lessons Learned from the Perspective of an Early Intervention Provider. Children. 2021; 8(9):743. https://doi.org/10.3390/children8090743

Chicago/Turabian Style

Holzinger, Daniel, Doris Binder, Daniel Raus, Georg Palmisano, and Johannes Fellinger. 2021. "Development and Implementation of a Low-Cost Tracking System after Newborn Hearing Screening in Upper Austria: Lessons Learned from the Perspective of an Early Intervention Provider" Children 8, no. 9: 743. https://doi.org/10.3390/children8090743

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