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October, 2010                                                             Early Childhood Hearing Outreach (ECHO) Initiative
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Tracking OAE Outcomes and Next Steps Need Not be Messy: 
Check out our new, simplified tracking tool!

Keeping track of Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) hearing screening and follow-up outcomes can be messy if you don't have a reliable tracking system in place! 

Program Coordinators and
Some things ARE messy, but tracking need not be!
screeners need to be able to easily identify:

a) which children have passed the screening on both ears and completed the screening process;

b) which children did not pass the screening and what specific follow up step is next;

c) whether the initial OAE pass/ refer rate is within acceptable limits.

Most generic data systems do not allow users to record multi-step OAE screening outcomes; consequently, screeners and program managers can frequently lose track of where children are in the screening/diagnostic process.  In a recent study of Early Head Start OAE screening programs, it was found that approximately 40% of the children who did not pass the initial OAE screening exited the program without receiving the subsequent assessment or treatment they needed.  Many of these children could have been better served if programs had been able to complete the follow-up steps in a timely way.

To address this problem, the ECHO Initiative recently updated the tracking resources that are available for early childhood programs conducting OAE screening.  The new tool is a simple-to-use, pre-formatted Excel spreadsheet that includes all of the steps in the OAE screening and follow-up protocol. Program Coordinators and screeners can see at a glance which children have completed the screening process, which children have not, and what the next steps are for those still in process.

The new, simplified OAE Screening and Diagnostic Log is now available, free of charge, along with instructions and a 3-part, 20 minute tutorial on how to use this tracking tool.

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OAE Re-screening

Are you willing to submit hearing screening data (child names blocked to protect confidentiality) to the ECHO Initiative and help us promote early childhood hearing screening?

A number of Early Head Start Grantees have been submitting data to the ECHO Initiative for years now, and we would like to expand the database so that we know how many children are being identified with hearing health needs. If you would be willing to use the new tracking tool and also submit your data to us on a quarterly basis (no child names would be included in the data you submit), please let us know by enrolling here

We will then send you more specific information.  Its a fairly simple process and will contribute to an important effort in promoting the value of periodic early childhood hearing screening. Thanks! 

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Probes and Tips is a newsletter from the ECHO Initiative that provides monthly TIPS
to enhance early childhood 
hearing screening and follow-up practices
 about current activities so we can learn from one another's successes and challenges.

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                                                   2880 Old Main Hill, Logan, Utah 84322