June, 2016      

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ECHO Initiative 
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 Probes and Tips 

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Tip of the Month
Documentation Do's and Don'ts

As you implement your hearing screening program, DO have a systematic method in place for documenting the outcomes; DON'T rely on memory or a trail of sticky notes! Whether you choose to use the Screening and Diagnostic Follow-up Forms developed by the ECHO Initiative, or you have your own system, be sure that you are recording the outcomes in a reliable way and consistent way.

The examples shown here are for an Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) screening process, but the same principles hold true
for Pure Tone screening as well. 
DO have a paper or electronic record of each individual child's screening outcomes; DON'T rely solely on a group list or log. The hearing screening results should be part of each child's health record, so that if the child transfers to another program, or the results needs to be shared with another service provider, all of the detailed information about the screening is available.  

DO create a record that shows specific results (pass, refer/ fail, or could not test) for the child's left and right ears including the screening method that was used and the date; DON'T simply record an overall outcome that a screening was performed.
DO use a system that reminds a screener what the next step is if the child did not pass the screening on one or both ears;
DON'T assume that a screener will automatically know, or remember, the screening protocol. A visual reminder of how each screening step fits into the overall protocol is especially helpful for reinforcing timely follow-up. 

If a child does not pass the screening, DO continue to monitor the referral process, documenting the findings, and then complete the hearing screening when the child has received medical clearance;  DON'T assume that a health care provider or specialist has performed the screening unless you have specific results indicating the screening method and outcome. Most health care providers will perform a visual inspection of the ear (and sometimes tympanometry) to look for signs of an ear infection, etc., but they do not necessarily have the equipment to conduct a hearing screen.  

DO maintain a systematic log or compilation the results so that you can easily see how many children have passed the screening or are still in need of follow-up; DON'T find yourself lost in a maze of those sticky notes! 
Probe of the Month
What system do you use to document your hearing screening results?

Let us know at:  
And, as always, share www.KidsHearing.org with anyone you think would benefit from our resources.     

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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.