Toolkit for Providers Serving Children with Hearing Loss
Tip #1: Ensure the Child’s Primary Care Provider is Correctly Identified
What We Learned
• A significant proportion- more than 50% in some series- of babies that “referred” after newborn hearing screening did not have their primary care provider correctly identified at the birth hospital.
• Without correct identification of the PCP, it was not possible to ensure that screen results could be communicated to the physician responsible for follow-up.
• The attending physician in the nursery was sometimes incorrectly named as the PCP responsible for follow-up.
• Some families had not decided on a PCP for their infant by the time they left the birth hospital.
What We Did
• Screeners asked families directly for the name of the PCP they were planning to follow-up with after discharge from the birth hospital.
• Correct PCP was documented, and a copy of the screen results faxed to the PCP. Click here for a sample letter to PCP.
• Encouraged hospitals to consider the most effective ways to correctly document each infant’s PCP e.g. asking parents at time of registration for delivery if they have yet chosen a PCP for their infant.
Questions for My Practice
• At what stage do most newborns entering my practice identify me as their PCP- before delivery, during the birth hospital admission, or after discharge from the birth hospital?
• Do families planning to follow-up with our practice have the name and contact numbers (phone, fax and mailing address) for our practice before they leave the birth hospital?
Changes to Try in My Practice
• Ensure families planning to follow-up at our practice have PCP name, telephone and fax number to give to birth hospital.
• At birth hospital, establish protocols for correctly identifying PCP prior to discharge.