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Success Story: Infant Hearing Program

Rob Babos
June 3, 2020

Caredove’s eReferral platform is helping shape the way we screen newborns for life-altering diseases

Since 2016 Caredove has connected over 50,000 newborns with Infant Hearing Programs. These tests play a vital role in the early detection and treatment of a number of life-threatening or life-altering diseases. Our secure eReferral software allows clinicians to book, track and follow-up on these tests instantly and accurately. 

With a philosophy to innovate and empower patients, Caredove introduced self-booking functionality. New parents now have the flexibility to schedule and manage their own screening appointments online without having to wait for phone calls to be returned. This feature increases efficiency, ensuring more newborns are receiving screening quicker and the chances of early detection and prevention are improved. 

We always love a good success story that reminds us why we do what we do; and this note from our client is as good as they get:

I wanted to thank you and your team for all of the work you continue to do to support our Infant Hearing Program and our partnership with Newborn Screening Ontario (NSO).  As you know, our famous "Phase 2" of the risk factor screen launched July 29th.
What the launch of Phase 2 meant for families across the province was that they would now have the option of consenting to the Hearing Loss Risk Factor Screen.  When parents in our region consent to this additional testing, we then flag NSO (via Caredove) to go ahead and test the same sample NSO collected at birth for certain risks associated with hearing loss. (When babies are born, hospitals or midwives collect a blood sample from the infants' heel - NSO automatically tests this sample for approximately 30 life-threatening or life-altering diseases - but the risks for hearing loss are only tested once they receive our separate consent via Caredove).
This risk factor screen looks for congenital Cytomegalovirus (a virus which can cause progressive hearing loss in early childhood) as well as some common genetic mutations (also increasing the likelihood that the child will have PHL).  While there's no way for us to change one's genetic make-up, knowing about these babies means that we can offer support to these families right away.  In the case of cCMV, many of these babies will have no visible signs or symptoms at birth - but CMV can have very serious life-changing effects on hearing, eyesight and brain development.  When symptoms are identified under the age of 4 weeks, babies may be eligible for antiviral treatment.  We believe this antiviral treatment may be able to stop the progression of Permanent Hearing Loss in these infants.
Since the launch of Phase 2, our region has been able to identify 3 infants via the risk factor screen - 2 with cCMV and 1 with a genetic marker.  The first baby identified to us was born on July 29th - the first day of the launch.  Had this child been born even one day sooner we would never have known.
The second CMV baby we found was symptomatic.  With permanent hearing loss identified, this infant was able to start antiviral treatment by 20 days of age!
Though we don't know the impact these viruses will have on our babies and families, we do know that the work we all continue to do to ensure accurate, reliable and timely transmission of our information to NSO via Caredove has been a great value to our program.  Caredove has also allowed us to more easily manage the referrals we receive and to track which families require follow-up, while booking them into appointment spots that will be accessible to them.
Because the timing of when we obtain and share consent with NSO is so crucial, our IHP also anticipates that the work you're now doing to further customize the self-booking option will have yet another positive impact on our families.  Self-booking will allow new parents, who are struggling to juggle life with a newborn, the convenience of booking their appointment any time of day -  without having to work around our business hours or lose precious time playing phone tag.
On behalf of our team and our families, Thank You for the work that you do - know that you're making a difference in the lives of these babies!

Caredove’s collaboration with the Infant Hearing Program is a shining example of implementing an eReferral solution customized to meet the unique needs of a workflow. We look forward to many more success stories in the future as we continue to develop our platform and partner with other Infant Hearing Programs and community agencies.

Contact us for more information on how Caredove can help you streamline access to service and improve care transitions. 

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