Objectives: Early hearing detection and intervention (EHDI) is a newborn hearing screening system created to detect infants with hearing loss (HL) and intervene to reduce language and communication impairment. Early hearing detection (EHD) consists of three sequential stages: identification, screening, and diagnostic testing. This study longitudinally reviews each stage of EHD in each state and proposes a framework to improve utilization of EHD data. Design: A retrospective public database review was conducted, accessing publicly available data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Summary descriptive statistics were utilized to generate a descriptive study of EHDI programs in each U.S. state from 2007 to 2016. Results: Data over 10 years from 50 states as well as Washington, DC were included in this analysis, creating up to 510 data points per analysis. Hundred percent (85 to 105) (median [min to max]) of newborns were identified by and entered EHDI programs. Ninety-eight percent (51 to 100) of identified infants completed screening. Of the infants who screened positive for HL, the proportion that received diagnostic testing was 55% (1 to 100). The overall proportion of infants who failed to complete EHD was 3% (1 to 51). Of the infants who fail to complete EHD 70% (0 to 100) are from missed screenings, 24% (0 to 95) are from missed diagnostic testing, and 0% (0 to 93) are from missed identification. Although there are more infants missed at screening, it was estimated, with limitations, that there is an order of magnitude more infants with HL among those who did not complete diagnostic testing compared with those who did not complete screening. Conclusions: Analysis demonstrates high completion rates at both identification and screening stages, whereas the diagnostic testing stage demonstrates low and highly variable completion rates. The low completion rates at diagnostic testing create a bottleneck in the EHD process and the large variability impedes the comparison of HL outcomes across states. Analysis also demonstrates that among all stages of EHD, whereas the largest number of infants are missed at screening, the largest number of children with HL are likely missed at diagnostic testing. Therefore, a focus by individual EHDI programs on addressing causes of low diagnostic testing completion rates would yield the greatest increase in the identification of children with HL. Potential causes of low diagnostic testing completion rates are further discussed. Finally, a new vocabulary framework is proposed to facilitate further study of EHD outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-71
Number of pages10
JournalEar and hearing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024


  • EHDI
  • Hearing
  • Lost
  • Missing
  • Screening
  • UNHS


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