Deliver "Just in Time" Information to Health Care Providers
When a child does not pass the Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) hearing screening on two separate attempts, evaluation by a health care provider is usually the next step. With guidance from a highly-respected pediatrician, we've refined a sample "just in time" referral letter that summarizes the OAE screening protocol and the health care provider's role in assessing a child's outer and middle ear status. Download the health care provider referral letter template and edit it to meet your program's needs. When a referral is made, fill in the child's information and OAE results and deliver it to the appropriate provider.
In addition to giving information to health care providers, it is equally important to find out and document the middle ear consultation result as shown on the Diagnostic Follow-up Form. In most cases, the provider will examine the child's ear canal and eardrum (tympanic membrane) using an otoscope. In addition, it is desirable for the examination to a include "pneumatic otoscopy" or "tympanometry." Both procedures check the mobility of the middle ear system and help the health care provider determine whether there is fluid (effusion) behind the eardrum. Middle ear fluid often causes a temporary hearing loss.
If the health care provider indicates that the hearing pathway through the outer and middle ear is clear, you can proceed to conduct the OAE Rescreen of the inner ear. If further treatment is required to resolve a middle ear infection, work with the health care provider to determine when the ear is clear and the OAE Rescreen can be completed.
How do you share information about your hearing screening practices with health care providers in your commmunity?
Do you remember to provide information about OAE screening and your specific protocol and practices with each referral you make to a health care provider for children not passing their hearing screening? Have you found other strategies for sharing your practices, knowledge and skills with professionals in your community? Please email us what has worked for you so we can share it with others! As always, please share www.kidshearing.org with anyone you think would benefit from our resources.