Purpose: Hearing loss is the number one birth defect among children. There are significant consequences of delayed diagnosis and failure to obtain timely intervention, particularly for a child’s speech and language development. Design and implementation of successful newborn hearing screening (NHS) programs can be challenging. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate improved efficiency and effectiveness of a large NHS program through the implementation of a team approach engaging both ambulatory and hospital services.

Methodology: A Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis was used to develop an improved NHS program focused on improving patient care. The SWOT analysis outcomes were used to determine several key factors to be implemented, including dedicated technicians solely assigned to the NHS program and purchase of new equipment to improve accuracy and reduce disposable costs. In addition, a two-tiered approach was implemented whereby the dedicated technicians performed initial screenings, with all rescreens performed by an audiologist.

Results: Implementation of the new NHS program demonstrated numerous successes including a significant reduction in the failure rate, improved care coordination, and increased communication between ambulatory and hospital services.