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Every Baby Counts” Quality Improvement Program

The following links contain summarized data for transit time deliveries of NBS specimens and rates of unsatisfactory specimen submissions for birthing facilities throughout Oklahoma:

TRANSIT-TIME REPORTS       UNSATISFACTORY SPECIMEN REPORTS

The “Every Baby CountsQuality Improvement Program is designed to improve the processes for timely collection and submission of newborn screening (NBS) specimens for testing at the OSDH Public Health Laboratory (PHL). Delayed testing, due to improper specimen collection or prolonged transit time, deters early detection and intervention for critical conditions that could lead to permanent damage or death of a child within the first few days of life.

Per Oklahoma law (OS 63 Sections 1-533 and 1-534), NBS dried blood spot specimens must:

  • Be collected as early as possible AFTER 24 hours of age or immediately prior to discharge, whichever comes first; if for any reason a specimen is collected prior to 24 hours of age, the hospital and physician are responsible for ensuring that a repeat specimen is collected at between 3 and 5 days of age;
  • Be sent to the OSDH PHL within 24 hours after collection;
  • Arrive at the OSDH PHL no later than 48 hours after collection.

Submitters are also responsible for submitting specimens of adequate quality for testing. Improperly collected or processed specimens may prove unsatisfactory for testing, resulting in the need to collect a new specimen and delaying results. Accordingly, specimen quality improvement goals have recently been added to the “Every Baby Counts” QI Program, aimed at reducing the number of submitted unsatisfactory specimens.

To ensure successful collection/processing/submission of specimens, we recommend that birthing facilities:

  • Ensure that all personnel involved in collection/processing/submission of NBS bloodspots receive adequate training;
  • If feasible, have an individual who is well-trained in bloodspot collection double-check the quality of the specimen before it is sent for testing;
  • Check the expiration date of the filter paper prior to collection;
  • Air-dry specimens horizontally for 3-4 hours after collection;
  • Send specimens immediately for testing once dry, and do not batch specimens;
  • Maintain a Specimen Collection Log to document dates for specimen collection, submission, and receipt of screening results, etc.

                                         COURIER SERVICE MAP

Efficient specimen collection and handling processes within birthing facilities are only one component for ensuring prompt testing of NBS specimens. The Every Baby Counts QI program is actively exploring ways to improve efficiencies in courier pick-up and transportation of specimens to the OSDH PHL, and in receipt, processing and testing of specimens within the OSDH PHL.  The Courier Map (link above) illustrates the frequency of pick-up of NBS specimens from birthing hospitals.

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Hours of Operation
8am-5pm, Monday - Friday

Contact Information
1000 NE 10th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73117-1299
Phone: 405-271-5070;  Fax: 405-271-4850
24/7 Emergency:  405-406-3511 or 405-271-7457   
Email:  
PublicHealthLab@health.ok.gov

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