Title: 'Utilizing Volunteers to Improve a Hospital Based Hearing Screening Program'
Track: 9 - Program Evaluation and Quality Improvement
Keyword(s): hearing, screening, newborn, hospital,volunteer
Learning Objectives:
  1. Identify strategies to improve a hearing screening program
  2. Describe the benefit to the type of volunteer recruited for hearing screenings


Most newborn hearing screenings are completed in a hospital setting. Increased responsibilities for nursing staff, staff shortages, and budget cuts have made it challenging to complete a two-stage screening process prior to a baby’s discharge from the hospital. In 2007 budget cuts at OHSU resulted in the elimination of the designated newborn hearing screener and left hearing screenings to nurses, CNAs, and health unit coordinators (HUC). Subsequently, “Refer” rates increased dramatically and remained high despite interventions that included one-on-one trainings, identification of optimal shifts to complete screenings, emphasis on using one screening test method rather than two, etc. We initiated a pilot program utilizing undergraduate students from Communication Disorders programs as volunteer hearing screeners. Subsequently the number of student volunteers was increased and we noticed an improvement in screening outcomes. Hospital data and data from the Oregon EHDI program was analyzed within-groups (volunteer vs. staff), test type (OAE vs. AABR), and nursery (MBU vs. NICU). Preliminary findings indicate utilizing hospital volunteer services to assist with newborn hearing screenings decreased the hospital referral rate. Findings also indicate that as the number of screenings completed by the volunteers increased, the referral rate decreased. This presentation will include the benefits as well as the limitations of utilizing volunteers and will outline the application and training process of the volunteers. We also intend to highlight the type of students recruited and the potential influence the screening opportunity may have to their future graduate education and skill set as Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists. We anticipate this information will be helpful to audiologists, nurse managers, and newborn hearing screening coordinators who are facing similar budgetary and staffing issues and trying to continue to meet quality screening standards.
Presentation: Poster_AliciaWhite-Wooten_1704.pdf

Handouts: Handout is not Available
CART: CART Transcription is not Available
Heather Durham - Primary Presenter,POC
     Credentials: AuD, CCC-A FAAA
      Pediatric Audiologist/Newborn Hearing Screening Coordinator with experience in diagnostics and working with infants and children with additional needs.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.
Alicia White-Wooten - Co-Presenter
     Credentials: AuD
      Recent graduate from Washington University School of Medicine. Interest in Pediatric Audiology, including diagnostics and intervention.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.