Title: 'Not Just a Branding Iron: Certifying Newborn Hearing Screening Programs'
Track: 9 - Program Evaluation and Quality Improvement
Keyword(s): Certification, Skills, Minimal Qualifications
Learning Objectives:
  1. apply the certification process, as explained, in their state’s EHDI program in accordance with statute and/or regulations.
  2. evaluate the certification process, as explained, and, if favorable, select to develop an appropriate process to implement within their EHDI program.


Currently an average of 1,068 newborns are delivered daily in Texas. Over a decade ago, the Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (TEHDI) Program found value in certifying birthing facility’s newborn hearing screening programs. However the process had become outdated and, while upgrading the process, put the certification of programs on hiatus from 2011 to 2013 when the current certification process was implemented. There are four levels of certification a newborn hearing screening program can obtain: preliminary (for new programs never before being reviewed for certification), provisional, standard and distinguished. The certification process begins by responding to an educational survey based on best practices of newborn hearing screening programing in accordance with Texas early hearing and detection intervention statute. Responses not representative of best practices receive an email which often leads to educational opportunities of local birthing facility supervisory and management staff, including these staff documenting their taking universal newborn hearing screening training. The nine metrics for certification include: timeliness and completeness of hearing screenings imported electronically, completion of contact information of parents and continuum of care providers, documentation of correspondence to parents and pediatricians/primary care providers of screening results and percentage of newborns passing prior to discharge. The presentation will detail the above mentioned metrics and discuss the pros and cons associated with the current certification process. Shared as well will be policy in regards to review cycles (dependent upon certification levels) and options for facilities to opt for earlier reviews. Texas’ 254 counties currently have 310 licensed birthing facilities (hospitals/children’s hospitals with active labor and delivery departments and birthing centers. 140 have obtained distinguished level certification for their newborn hearing screening programs and are listed on the TEHDI website.
Presentation: Tuesday_Jones_1100_DougDittfurth_1656.pdf


Handouts: Handout is not Available
CART: Topical Session 5- 1656.rtf
Doug Dittfurth - Primary Presenter,Co-Presenter
Texas Department of State Hearing Services
     Credentials: BSFA, MEd
      Doug has worked in the services with persons who are deaf/hard of hearing arena for over 40 years in several capacities: teacher, vocational rehabilitation counselor, interpreter, interpreter trainer, mental health/substance abuse counselor, rehabilitation facility administrator, consultant and state lead for advocacy for communication access and discrimination. His undergraduate studies include habilitation of the deaf, audiology and learning disabilities at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. He has Master of Education degrees in Counseling and Psychometrics from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls. As a certified interpreter, he holds Texas BEI Level III/Court Interpreter Certifications. After working for the state’s Office for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services for 14 years, he moved to the Texas Health and Human Service Commission's, Department of State Health Services as the coordinator of the Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (TEHDI) in July 2013.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.
Mary Catherine Hess - Co-Presenter
OZ Systems
     Credentials: MA, BS
      Mary Catherine Hess has been working with EHDI programs since 2002. She is employed by OZ Systems and works as an Account Manager for the Texas EHDI Program and the USVI EHDI Program. Previously, she was the Program Administrator for Rhode Island’s EHDI Program from 2001-2008 and co-chair of the CDC EHDI Data Committee from 2007-2008. She has presented at local, regional and national EHDI events on topics related to newborn hearing screening, data management and data reporting, and most recently standards-based messaging for EHDI programs. She achieved her MA in Linguistics from Gallaudet University and holds a BS in Communication Disorders. She is a certified ASL/English interpreter. Her interests include communication access issues in health care settings, assistive technology and long-term outcomes for deaf and hard of hearing children identified through the EHDI process. She is a yogi, pug lover and fan of NPR and folk music.

Financial - Receives Other financial benefit for Consulting,Other activities from Vendor for the Texas Department of State Health Services .  

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.