October 29, 2013
PRESTONSBURG – Highlands Health System is excited to have received notification that its Newborn Hearing Screening program, as well as its Hepatitis B screening practices, exceeded expectations from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. These programs are administered on Highlands’ Labor & Delivery unit by Michelle Hall, OB Supervisor.
Highlands’ Newborn Hearing Screening program was evaluated on a number of different protocols, including accuracy, dedicated equipment in each nursery area, staff training on screenings, and parental consultation. In each area of evaluation, Highlands consistently ranked amongst the top hospitals in the state.
Hearing loss is the most common birth defect, and currently occurs in three out of every 1,000 children born. Newborn hearing screening is the first step in identifying issues and prescribing follow-up care.
For Highlands’ Hepatitis B screening practices, the hospital was evaluated to determine if they are screening women who deliver on the Labor and Delivery Unit. Highlands was found to be 100% compliant in maternal screening and documentation.
This screening is important for newborns since those who are born to Hepatitis-B positive mothers typically have up to a 90% chance of becoming chronic Hepatitis-B carriers. Therefore, it is important to identify these women through screening so that infants can be treated beginning at birth.