Early Hearing Detection and Intervention

About EHDI

Hearing loss is more common than any other condition screened for at birth. As many as 3 to 4 out of every 1,000 babies in the United States are born with some level of hearing loss. Based on that estimate, 33 to 44 babies are born with hearing loss in South Dakota each year. 1-3-6 guidelines were developed to give a babies the best time frame to be screened, diagnosed, and begin receving services so they are likely to to reach full potential speech, language, and social skills.

1-3-6 Guidlines:

  • Screen all newborns by 1 month of age, preferably before leaving the hospital.
  • If needed, follow-up screening and diagnostic medical and hearing evaluations before 3 months of age.
  • If diagnosed as deaf or hard of hearing, enrollment in early intervention services by 6 months of age.

About the SD EHDI Collaborative

In 2015, the partnership between the University of South Dakota and the South Dakota Department of Health, known as the SD EHDI Collaborative, allowed the first HRSA grant to initiate quality improvement activities within the SD EHDI Program. The SD EHDI Collaborative works to improve early identification of hearing loss in children and promote early intervention services for children and their families across the state of South Dakota.

Our Team


History of EHDI

Before 1993, a hard of hearing child could have been identified as late as age 4 or 5 and fewer than 1 in 10 newborns in the U.S. were screened for hearing loss. Today nearly all newborns are screened. Since HRSA's Early Hearing Detection and Intervention program started, states and territories have had significant success identifying and getting services for newborns and infants with hearing loss. In 2018, national data from CDC data showed:

  • 98.3% of all infants born in the US had their hearing screened, 97% were screened prior to one month of age.
  • 77.1% of infants received audiological evaluations and a diagnosis by three months of age.
  • 70.1% of infants were enrolled in early intervention services before six months of age.

We continue to work toward our goals of screening all newborns, infants, and young children up to 3 years of age for hearing loss, increasing the number of newborns and infants that are enrolled into early intervention programs in a timely manner, and expanding family participation within the EHDI system.

South Dakota EHDI Through the Years

  • 2000 and earlier
    • several hospitals in the state voluntarily provided hearing screening for newborns. According to a 1998 survey conducted by the DOH, 6 hospitals in the state screened all infants born in their facility while 3 hospitals screened according to risk criteria or upon physician order.
    • In 2000 65% of newborns were screened
    • In April, 2000, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau awarded grants to 22 states to assist with the planning, development, implementation, and refinement of early hearing detection and intervention programs.
    • In October of 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) awarded 15 state grants to assist with developing EHDI tracking and data management systems. 
  • 2001
    • Newborn Hearing Screening coordinator position created at SD DOH, funded by CDC, known as the Newborn Hearing Screening Data Surveillance Specialist
  • 2002
    • 71.5% of Newborns were screened.
    • The Electronic Vital Records Screening and Surveillance (EVRSS) system was established as the SD EHDI Surveillance and Information System (EHDI-IS). Implemented in 2002, EVRSS provides newborn screening (metabolic and hearing) surveillance and tracking for infants born in SD. The system was designed to accurately identify, match, collect and report data through the recommended guidelines of the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (JCIH) and the EHDI benchmarks known as the 1-3-6 plan. EVRSS is a web-based data system, which links all three components of the EHDI process and the metabolic laboratory and diagnostic surveillance to the birth certificate.
  • 2003
    • Newborns screened 90.4%
  • 2004
    • Newborns screened 94.3%
  • 2015
    • In 2015, the newly formed partnership between the South Dakota Department of Health (SD DOH) and the University of South Dakota (USD), which came to be known later as the SD EHDI Collaborative, allowed the first HRSA grant to initiate quality improvement activities within the SD EHDI Program.

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