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ETMC Henderson earns distinguished certification for newborn hearing screening program

ETMC Henderson's newborn hearing screening program has received distinguished certification-the highest level of certification-from the Texas Department of State Health Services Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention program.


Each day, two to three babies are born in Texas with hearing loss or deafness. State law requires hospitals screen newborns for hearing loss. The DSHS certifies hospital-based hearing screening programs to ensure quality.

Certification is based upon eight criteria associated with infant screening, record keeping and results management. Programs are rated as provisional, standard or distinguished. This is the first time ETMC Henderson has earned distinguished certification. The hospital was previously awarded standard certification.


"We are honored by our certification as a distinguished newborn hearing screening program," said Mark Leitner, administrator of ETMC Henderson. "This distinction is a reflection of the commitment our nurses have to providing the highest quality care-even to our smallest patients."


A little more than a year ago, ETMC Henderson purchased new automated auditory brainstem response testing equipment for use in the screenings. The painless, non-invasive system measures electrical activity from the auditory nerve to the brain via electrodes attached to the head.


"We're proud to be a part of this program that is preventing many infants from suffering speech, language and learning delays associated with undetected hearing loss. Infants as young as four-weeks-old can now be fitted with hearing aids and assistive technology systems, so early detection and diagnosis is very important," said Janet Neal, RN, RNC-OB, director of The Birthplace at ETMC Henderson.


The program is due for certification again in January 2015.