According to the Funding Opportunity Announcement, the award’s purpose is to support jurisdictions that have routinely identified infants who are deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH) and are working to provide and document recommended follow-up testing and intervention services. The North Carolina EHDI Program meets the requirements of this opportunity by screening 99% of NC infants and identifying D/HH infants as reported by audiologists and early interventionists. The EHDI program has experienced challenges regarding reporting and documenting of all follow-up diagnostic and EI services despite state mandates to help with these efforts.
The outcomes of this project are to improve the timely documentation, reporting and analysis of diagnostic and intervention data through optimization of EHDI surveillance. To achieve these outcomes, education and technical support will be given to audiology and EI providers to enhance the reporting process. Modifications will also be made to the Hearing Link data tracking system to collect complete, accurate, and valid data in accordance with EHDI Functional Standards, Goals 2-8.
All activities planned will be divided into four strategies, including: 1) EHDI-IS Optimization; 2) Engaging Stakeholders in Follow-up Tracking and Reporting; 3) Data Analysis and Evaluation; and 4) Data Submission and Dissemination.
NC-EHDI will adhere to the following key outcomes expected by the CDC to be achieved by the end of the project period:
Short –Term Outcomes
• Meet the “SHALL” requirements of the CDC EHDI Functional Standards
• Improved collaboration between audiologists and the jurisdictional EHDI program
• Increased knowledge and skills among audiologists in the jurisdiction about reporting hearing results
• Improved collaboration between Early Intervention programs and jurisdictional EHDI program
• Increased knowledge among program staff and stakeholders of current data issues, including loss to follow-up and loss to documentation
• Increased understanding by jurisdictional EHDI program and stakeholders of strengths and weaknesses of the system
• More audiologists in the jurisdiction report high quality diagnostic hearing results
• Improved accuracy, completeness and timeliness of follow-up enrollment and intervention data
• Increased targeted dissemination of information among internal and external stakeholders
• Improved timely submission of standardized patient-level datasets to CDC (excluding PII)
• Increased standardization and comparability of EHDI follow-up data by CDC at national level
• Use of timely and complete patient-level data among EHDI programs for tracking and to inform decision making
• Increased number of infants who receive a diagnosis no later than 3 months of age
• Increased enrollment in Early Intervention (EI) services no later than 6 months of age, for infants who are deaf or hard of hearing