In 2005, a nationwide programme on hearing screening in newborns was launched in Denmark. The purpose of the programme was to ensure early detection of hearing loss in newborns and to institute subsequent treatment. The aim of this study was to assess whether the Central Denmark Region observes the guidelines of the Danish Health and Medicines Authority (DHMA) for neonatal hearing. In addition, we wanted to identify factors that may influence screening density positively or negatively.
Data were collected retrospectively from patient record forms completed in the 2006-2014 period. For selected periods, patient record forms were examined man-ually.
We recorded an annual increase in average screening density; from 88.6% in 2006 to 94.8% in 2013. Furthermore, in 2006, 89.5% had completed the hearing screening programme within 30 days and in 2014 this figure had increased to 99%. The average time to diagnosis decreased from 3.5 months in 2006 to 0.7 months in 2013. A strike among healthcare professionals in 2008 and the launch of electronic patient record (EPJ) forms in 2012 had a negative impact on screening density. Due to EPJ errors, the hearing screening density occasionally appeared to be lower than the actual number of newborns screened. In contrast, advanced training of primary screening staff, the establishment of close relations with the primary screening units in hospitals and the implementation of "Maternity packages" improved screening density.
Based on our results, our conclusion is that the Central Denmark Region observes the DHMA guidelines on neonatal hearing screening in Denmark.