Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Data

Starting on September 1, 2016, the new Universal Newborn Hearing Screening (UNHS) program began in 14 facilities across the province.  The facilities where screening is performed have more than 75 births per year.  Infants born outside these sites at home or other birth sites are referred to outpatient sites for screening.

The Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Act stipulates the parent or legal guardian of an infant must be offered the opportunity to have their infant screened for hearing loss.  If the parent or guardian wishes to have the infant screened, the infant should be screened before discharge from the hospital or arrangements must be made to screen at an outpatient facility.

Sites may not always have screeners on duty.  Infants that are missed in hospital are followed up by screeners who place phone calls to families to arrange outpatient follow-up appointments.

Screening is recommended for infants as early detection of hearing loss allows for care providers to support the child in language and communication development whether they choose treatment(s) or an alternate communication method.

UNHS Offer and Screening by Region

Time Period:  September 01, 2016 to  March 31, 2017

RHA

Number of babies born (birth sites)*

Offers made**

% of infants born  offered screening

Offers Accepted

% of offers accepted by family

Screening Initiated*** 

% accepted offers screened 

IERHA

125

221

177%

196

89%

196

100.00%

NRHA

764

601

79%

572

95%

538

94.06%

PMH

1210

1210

100%

1181

98%

1112

94.16%

SH-SS

1021

1187

116%

1014

85%

998

98.42%

WRHA

6873

6841

100%

6822

100%

6842

100.29%

Total

9993

10060

101%

9785

97%

9626

98.38%


*     based on birthing hospital admission data, does not include small facility and home births (approx 0.03% of births)
**   infants less than 6 months of age at the initiation of the program were screened if requested by parent/guardian
*** families offered screening as an outpatient may not have had their appointments as of March 31, 2017