August 2015 


 September is Newborn Screening (NBS) Awareness Month


Each year more than 65,000 Wisconsin newborns are tested for 44 serious disorders plus hearing loss and critical congenital heart disease. It is important for parents to ask their baby's health care provider about the results of their baby's newborn screening test. As our valued partner in newborn screening, we want to say THANK YOU for working together with the NBS Program to save the lives of Wisconsin babies!

You can help promote Newborn Screening Awareness Month. 

The NBS program has developed promotional materials for this special month. For more information about NBS Awareness Month and to download promotional materials visit  www.slh.wisc.edu/nbs-month.




In 2014, hospitals and midwives screened 99 percent of babies. So far, in 2015, 115 babies have been identified as deaf or hard of hearing. Thank you to all our hospitals, midwives and audiology clinics for your efforts to ensure that babies born in Wisconsin receive this important screening and receive timely diagnosis and quality early intervention.  


Wisconsin's final 2014 statistics will be available in our 2014 annual report coming this fall/winter. Our 2013 Annual Report is available from improveedhi.org or by clicking on 2013 Annual Report.


Tune in: Wisconsin Sound Beginnings will present on a national webinar September 14th about their collaboration with Women, Infants and Children (WIC) to reduce loss follow-up for babies who do not pass their newborn hearing screening! For more information, contact Rebecca Martin at Rebecca.martin@dhs.wisconsin.gov.

In 2014 you helped 66,405 newborns get screened, and 135 were identified with one the disorders in our panel. For more detailed information please visit the Wisconsin State Laboratory Hygiene website. From all of us in NBS--THANK YOU!
Ongoing Quality Improvement Project
We are excited to report that the quality improvement efforts on specimen collection and transport are showing great results. In 2014, 89 percent of the initial specimens were collected between the recommended 24-48 hours after birth. This is a significant improvement from 2013 in which 83 percent of specimens were collected within the recommended window. The unsatisfactory specimen rate and the percentage of specimens missing key information remained steady at 2 percent and 5 percent, respectively. We are also pleased to report that 97 percent of specimens are arriving at the state laboratory within three days after collection.
Significant improvements have been made this past year and we continue to see these trends in 2015. Keep up the great work and please let us know if there are ways we can assist you with your quality improvement efforts.  

Effective July 1, 2015, hospitals are required to submit a Newborn Screening Blood Collection form for every baby born in their facility. If a baby is not screened for CCHD, the reason should be recorded. Instructions for completing the Newborn Screening Blood Collection Form are available at the WSLH Newborn Screening website (http://www.slh.wisc.edu/revised-newborn-screening-cards).  


If a baby fails his or her pulse oximetry screening, please follow best practices for a newborn with a potentially serious medical problem. If you need additional clinical support, consider contacting the on-call pediatric cardiologist at the American Family Children's Hospital (608-262-2122) or the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin (414-266-2000). Please also contact the Wisconsin SHINE office (608-265-1894) whenever a baby fails pulse oximetry screening.

Don't forget to check out the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene's Newborn Screening site.
  Please take a look  and send any suggestions for improvement and/or comments to webmaster@slh.wisc.edu.
We look forward to communicating with you further in future e-newsletters. If you have a printed copy of this newsletter and wish to have a copy of any linked documents, please let us know at

The Wisconsin Newborn Screening Program

In This Issue
Quick Links
Critical Reminder: Blood Sample Collection
> Instructions are included on the back of every blood card.

> Send every Newborn Screening Card no later than 24 hours after the blood draw.

 > Do NOT wait to accumulate several cards in your hospital before shipping.

> Click Here for the latest information on best practices when collecting a blood sample.

NBS Brochures:

Brochures may only be ordered online.  Click here  for instructions and forms.