April, 2016      

Probes & Tips header
ECHO Initiative 
Look for us at:
The Annual Health Institute 
California Head Start Association

(90 minute workshop)   
Tues, April 12, at 3:15 p.m.

* * * * * * * * * *  
ECHO Initiative
Links to Recorded Webinars:
New to 
OAE Screening? 

If your program is new to OAE screening,  
or if you have added
new staff who need  
instruction on OAE 
screening practices,  
visit our 
 where staff can view instructional video  
modules and access the corresponding 

Quick Links


Find more helpful hints from previous issues of

 Probes and Tips 

and many other
resources at:  


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Tip of the Month
Look at Hearing Screening Outcomes
as Quality Indicators

Spring can be a good time to take a look at your hearing screening program outcomes.  These can be viewed as quality indicators of how effective your screening efforts are in identifying all children who need hearing help. 
First, using simple math, calculate your initial screening pass rate since the beginning of your program year.  Take the number of children who passed the first Otoacoustic Emissions screening (OAE1) on both ears and divide it by the total number of children who received a screening.  For example, if 50 children in a program received an OAE1 screening, and 40 passed on both ears, 40 divided by 50 is .80 (80%).  
By looking at data collected from a large number of programs screening children 0 - 3 years of age, we see that approximately 75% of children typically pass the OAE1 screening.  The pass rate will vary based on screener skill level and the time of year. In winter, the pass rate may be lower because children are experiencing temporary symptoms that may interfere with screening, such as head colds.  Conversely, if children are generally healthy and cooperative, and screeners have excellent skills, you might have a higher pass rate. 
If your pass rate drops below 70%, however, you'll want to make sure that your equipment is functioning properly and that your screeners are well trained. Ask for assistance from your audiologist partner and use the Screening Skills Checklist to assess screener proficiency.  You can also review the Monitoring for Program Quality sheet for more tips on how to keep your OAE pass rate and screening quality high.
Next, look at the outcomes for children who didn't pass the OAE1. In the example described above, 10 of 50 children (20%) did not pass the OAE1. A program manager would want to have clear documentation showing that all 10 either passed a follow-up OAE screening or that an audiologist completed a more comprehensive evaluation.

Referral to a health care provider may be a necessary step on the protocol path, but it is not a screening outcome.
Some children may move away, or for other reasons drop out of the service system, but undertaking timely follow-up will help to reduce the number who have incomplete screening results.
If there are any children in your program who don't
have a passing OAE result for both ears (or audiological evaluation results), this is an area of concern. These children are at risk for having an unidentified hearing loss. Redouble your efforts to complete the process for these children. 

On an annual basis, or more frequently, check to see what your hearing screening OAE1 pass rate is and also how many children not passing the OAE1 screening received the needed rescreening and/or audiological evaluation. Let your Health Services Advisory Committee and others know about the quality indicators you are monitoring to ensure that you are providing children with the best care.   
Probe of the Month
What is your OAE1 pass rate and how many children not passing received the needed follow-up? 

Let us know at:  




And, as always, share www.KidsHearing.org with anyone you think would benefit from our resources.     

 ECHO - Headstart

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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 and PROBES

 about current activities so we can learn from one another's successes and challenges.