NBS Policies and Procedures
Hospital providers are responsible for the collection, labeling, and mailing of the first screening specimens, and test results, in a timely manner. They are also responsible for informing the parents or guardians both verbally and in writing when a second specimen should be collected, prior to the baby’s one week of age.
Practitioners are responsible for prompt collection and submission of repeat specimens if indicated by screening results or timing of first specimen. Providers are also responsible for medical care, and provision of parent education, support, and referral to specialty care when needed.
Healthcare Provider Responsibilities
The Newborn Screening Follow-Up program may ask healthcare providers to do one or more of the following:
- Contact the family and bring them in for an assessment - Infants should be assessed as soon as possible. For some urgent results, the follow-up nurse may advise you that an immediate assessment is necessary or possibly a referral to the emergency department.
- Repeat the newborn screen - Many infants will need a repeat screen instead of diagnostic testing. This request will be included in the verbal and/or faxed report from the NBS follow-up team.
- Collect diagnostic test samples including whole blood and/or urine - Some infants will require whole blood and/or urine testing. This will be included in the verbal and faxed report from the follow-up team. The details on which tests to order and recommended labs will also be included in the verbal and faxed report from the follow-up team.
- Refer the child for a sweat test - All children with a positive screen for cystic fibrosis need a sweat test at a laboratory accredited by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Contact details for accredited laboratories in Georgia are provided. Assistance for laboratories in other states can be provided, if more appropriate.
When to Collect (Section 2.2.1)
Georgia state rules and regulations require that a sample of the infant's blood is taken after 24 hours but not later than 48 hours of age, or prior to the infant's discharge from the hospital; whichever comes first. In addition, the hospital administrator or a designated representative must provide written notice to the parents, guardians, or legally responsible person if the infant must be tested again. Retest must be completed as soon as possible.
Discharging a newborn without collecting a specimen, even with the intent to collect it later, greatly increases the risk of missing an infant affected with one of the screened disorders. Lastly, the testing must be done in the first week of life in order to start immediate treatment and help prevent the effects of the disorder.
If the child is less than 6 months old and the results of the screening test from the other state cannot be obtained, or if there are clinical concerns about the possibility of a disorder, a Georgia screening test should be done.
Access to Screening Results
Additionally, official results for newborn screens received after July 11, 2011 through the present can be retrieved by authorized medical providers through the eReports web portal located at https://ereports.ga.gov/dph/eReports/weblogin.aspx?MsgNum=0&Locale=1033
This web-based system enables registered providers to access screening test results 24 hours a day/7 days a week. To ensure confidentiality and security, a username and password is required to access the system.
Authorized providers can access unofficial copies of archived reports in SendSS for birth dates from the year 2000 through 2007. These archived reports may be needed for student athletes attending college and in need of documentation of their sickle cell status.
To register for SendSS, visit https://sendss.state.ga.us/sendss/login.screen and fill out the online registration form.
Mandatory Reporting of Hearing Loss in Georgia
The following conditions related to hearing loss are required to be reported to Public Health:
- Newborns “referring” (failing) the initial or follow-up hearing screening, due to suspected hearing impairment: Newborns that “refer” a newborn hearing screening are to be reported to the Children 1st (C1st) Coordinator in the health district where the child resides, using the Children 1st Screening and Referral Form immediately following screening or at least within 7 calendar days. All information on the form that is known to the screener/evaluator/audiologist should be filled out and submitted.
- Children through the age of five (5) years with the initial confirmation/diagnosis of suspected permanent hearing loss/impairment, measured and described by a licensed audiologist, are required to be reported within 7 days of diagnosis. The “Surveillance of Hearing Impairment in Infants and Young Children” form is used by the audiologist and/or physician with knowledge of the hearing impairment and should be sent to the health district where the child resides.
Hearing loss/impairment is defined as a threshold average of 15 dB or greater between 500Hz - 4000Hz, whether unilateral (in one ear) or bilateral (in both ears).
Information for Hospitals and Birthing Facilities:
Quarterly Data Reports should be submitted to the Georgia Department of Public Health via the EHDI Coordinator in the health district where the hospital or facility is located. Electronic reporting into SendSS is strongly recommended, but can also be reported by paper.
Georgia Department of Public Health
Attention: Newborn Screening Program
2 Peachtree Street, NW 11th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30303
NBS Reference Guide of Genetic Disorders
Page last updated 12/16/22