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Victorian Infant Hearing Screening Program

News and updates

  • Victorian newborn hearing screening pathway

    The Victorian Infant Hearing Screening Program (VIHSP) aims to screen the hearing of all newborns in the state of Victoria within the first few days of life. The goal of newborn hearing screening is to identify those babies born with permanent hearing loss as early as possible. 

    Newborn hearing screening is the start of a process of ongoing monitoring of a baby's hearing. Babies who have a clear ("pass") response on their newborn hearing screen will have their hearing monitored in the community by family and health professionals.  Babies who do not get a clear response on their hearing screen (also know as a "refer" result) go on to have further detailed testing by an audiologist and their family are supported by the VIHSP Early Support Service. A baby who is diagnosed with a hearing loss will be referred to relevant hearing health professionals. They will work with the baby's family to ensure the baby has access to services and treatment to develop their communication skills. 

    VIHSP upholds standards set by national and international newborn hearing screening guidelines. 

    Snapshot of the newborn hearing screening pathway for babies born in 2022

    Screening

    National Benchmark: Complete newborn hearing screen in >97% of eligible babies by one month of age (corrected)

    • Babies eligible for screening: 76,145
    • Eligible babies screened by one month: 73,921 (97.1%)

    Family Support 

    Benchmark: Acknowledge >90% of babies referral to the Early Support Service (ESS) within 3 business days

    • Babies referred to ESS: 1,121
    • Referral acknowledged by Early Support Service within 3 days of notification: 1,112 (99.0%)

    Diagnostic Audiology 

    Benchmark: Commence audiology assessment in >90% of babies with screen refers by three months of age (corrected)

    • Babies referred to Audiology following their newborn hearing screen: 1,074
    • Babies commenced audiological assessment by 3 months of age (corrected): 1,015 (94.5%) 

    Amplification and Early Intervention

    Benchmark: Commence amplification/early intervention in 85% of babies with a target hearing loss by six months of age (corrected)

    • Babies with a target hearing loss: 47
    • Babies enrolled in early intervention by 6 months of age: 36 (76.6%)
    • Babies fitted with hearing aids by 6 months of age: 39 (83.0%)