Quarterly Newsletters

News & Updates

Best Practice Tips

• It is important for all newborn screenings to identify the doctor who will care for the newborn after discharge. Provide the physician’s first and last name, and/or a clinic name, and office phone number. If this information is missing, it could delay timely follow-up needed for any abnormal results and prevent timely treatment of some life threatening disorders.

• Remember to complete the newborn screening form in its entirety for every screen collected for each baby. It is important to have all the requested information filled out on the form as completely and accurately as possible. This includes the collection date and time as well as the birthdate and time of birth. If this information is not accurately completed, this could prevent some of the testing from being resulted and a repeat screening will be required.

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week, February 7-14

During Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) Awareness Week (February 7-14), the Florida Department of Health (DOH) is highlighting the preventative measures and screenings completed by health care partners throughout the state to diagnose and treat congenital heart defects in all newborns. These conditions affect approximately 1% of babies born in the United States every year. Of those with a CHD, nearly 1 in 4 have a critical CHD (CCHD) which means the baby will need medical intervention during the first year of life. CCHD screening is performed using pulse oximetry screening during the newborn screening protocol at the newborn’s bedside before discharge. The Newborn Screening Program began collecting CCHD screening results as part of the newborn screening specimen submission in 2014. Since then, over 1.6 million babies born in Florida have been screened.

Timing is Everything

A delay in the transit (shipping) of newborn screening (NBS) specimens can cause a delay in testing and can lead to late or delayed diagnosis of a child. In February 2015, the United States Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Advisory
Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children (ACHDNC) formalized a series of recommendations regarding timeliness in newborn screening.
These recommendations included:
1. Initial NBS specimens should be collected in the appropriate time frame for the newborn’s condition but no later than 48 hours after birth, and
2. NBS specimens should be received at the laboratory as soon as possible; ideally within 24 hours of collection.
Despite huge improvements in timely delivery of NBS specimens, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) laboratory receives approximately only 25% of initial newborn screening specimens within 24 hours of collection.

Top Hospitals


See how Florida hospitals rank at collecting newborn screening samples correctly, on time, and transporting to the Bureau of Public Health Laboratory in Jacksonville. Grades are updated quarterly. View the NBS Grading Scale for more details. Monthly reports for Unsatisfactory Specimen Collection Rates and Transit Time are available here. Find all A+ hospitals here(link).




FAQ highlight

What is the purpose of newborn screening?

All conditions detected by newborn screening can negatively impact an infant’s physical and mental development. The screening tests detect metabolic, endocrine, hemoglobin, pulmonary, and other conditions. Babies born with one of these conditions can appear healthy, and there may be no known family history of one of the conditions screened for. Early diagnosis, along with timely and appropriate treatment, can be the difference between healthy development and life-threatening problems.