Calculate Your OAE Pass/Refer Rate
One way to assess the efficiency of your Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) hearing screening practice is to regularly calculate your initial pass/refer rates. To do that, simply take the number of children who pass the initial screening (OAE 1) on both ears and divide it by the total number of children who received an initial (OAE 1) screening.
For example, let's say that 40 children passed the OAE 1 screening on both ears out of a total of 50 children who received that initial screening: 40 divided by 50 equals .80 (80%). That means that 80% of the children passed the OAE 1 screening on both ears and 20% did not.
By looking at data collected from a large number of Early Head Start programs screening children 0 - 3 years of age, we expect that approximately 75% of children will pass the OAE 1 screening and 25% will need followup.
Some variability in the pass rate is to be expected based on screener skill level and the time of year when children are screened--in winter, the pass rate may be lower because children are experiencing more head colds. Conversely, if children are generally healthy and cooperative, and screeners have excellent skills, you might have a much higher pass rate.
If your pass rate drops below 70%, however, you will want to make sure that your equipment is functioning properly and that your screeners are adequately trained. Ask for assistance from your audiologist partner and use the Screening Skills Checklist to assess screener proficiency. You can also access the Monitoring for Program Quality sheet for more tips on how to keep your OAE pass rate and screening quality high.