Part 17 – Resources: Answering Parents’ Questions and Making Referrals to Specialist Providers
By Oklahoma Newborn Hearing Screening Program & Oklahoma Audiology Taskforce
In 2012-2013, the Oklahoma Newborn Hearing Screening Program (NHSP)/Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) system partnered with the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management (NCHAM) at Utah State University, Boys Town National Research Hospital, and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center – Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders to conduct a nationwide survey with state specific information to understand what physicians think, know, and feel about newborn hearing screening and follow up. Results from the survey have been analyzed to develop resources for physicians and their patients related to newborn hearing screening/follow up.
The American Academy of Audiology requires referring a child with confirmed permanent hearing loss to an otolaryngologist and recommends referring for ophthalmologic and genetic medical evaluations to determine etiology and identify related conditions. Additional referrals may be needed for some children including developmental pediatrics, neurology, cardiology and nephrology. However, according to Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices of Physicians in Oklahoma study, only 78.5% otolaryngologist, 8.9% to a geneticist and 0.9% to the ophthalmologist.
PARENT & PROVIDER RESOURCE: When a child is diagnosed with hearing loss, parents may have many questions for their Medical Home provider. Medical home providers are also the coordinators for all aspects of the child’s medical care. As such they need to be prepared to answer parents’ questions, as well as to make referrals to appropriate specialists who can address the child’s specific health needs. To assist with these efforts, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed several tools for parents as they learn about ways to help their child who has hearing loss.
One of those resources is the Questions you May Want to Ask Your Child’s Medical Professional handout. This two-sided document provides sample questions about medical services for children with hearing loss, and identifies additional specialists in which their child may be referred to by their medical professional.
The document can be located at https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/hearingloss/freematerials/medical-professional_questions_eng.pdf
To learn more about the Oklahoma Newborn Hearing Screening Program, gather resources for families, or receive a copy of the previous articles in this series, please send an email to NewBornScreen@health.ok.gov