Newborn Screening Information for Birthing Facilities & NICUs

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What you need to know

Newborn screening responsibilities of birthing facilities

Additional information can be found under the Information for Hospitals FAQ.

If a newborn is discharged to a caregiver other than the birth mother an Alternate Care Giver Form must be completed and faxed to the Newborn Screening Program at (402) 471-1863. 

If a newborn is being transferred, a Transfer Form must be completed and faxed to the Newborn Screening Program at (402) 471-1863.

Newborn screening responsibilities of NICU's

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit admissions occur for between 8-10% of Nebraska Births but account for at least 40% of the newborn screening follow-up work load.  The intensive care and treatment received by these newborns, as well as their own physiology and possible prenatal exposures, create multiple interferences with obtaining reliable screening results.

Doctor holding baby while mother watches
 

In 2009 the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute adopted I/LA-31 Guidelines for Newborn Screening of Premature, Low Birth Weight and Sick newborns.  Some of the goals of the guidelines are to ensure consistent and complete screening, minimize the risk of a delayed or missed diagnosis, and to optimize the timing and minimize the number of specimens needed.  In 2011 Nebraska adopted the general recommendations of these guidelines via regulation.

For more information, see these updates below, and refer to the Newborn Screening Regulations in the Additional Information Section.

Ordering the newborn screen

According to Nebraska's State Law the physician is responsible for ordering the newborn screen. In many birthing facilities, procedures are established for standing orders to ensure this is done. The ordering physician should be the newborn's attending physician. While the State program is there to ensure an effective system of newborn screening, the baby's primary care professional is the one who makes it happen.

The following links describe the newborn screening responsibilities of physicians.  We also strongly recommend accessing the P​ractitioner's Manual.