October 31, 2020
Winnie Palmer Hospital's new newborn screening process means less wait time for test results

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Winnie Palmer Hospital delivers 12,000 to 15,000 babies a year.

Economic Backbone - Pediatrics

Winnie Palmer Hospital's new newborn screening process means less wait time for test results

Amy Keller | 7/27/2020

In Florida, the state requires newborns to be screened for 57 disorders, ranging from sickle cell disease to cystic fibrosis. Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital has instituted an electronic process that means less wait time for families to get results of those tests.

Previously, the hospital submitted various demographic information for each baby through the mail on handwritten forms, along with a few drops of blood obtained through a heel stick. Once the sample arrived at the state lab, an employee manually entered the information into the state database. Last year, Winnie Palmer — which delivers 12,000 to 15,000 babies a year — started sending the demographic information electronically before the specimen card arrives. The streamlined process has shaved off about 13 days of work each month for staff at the hospital and the Florida Department of Health, and abnormal results are available up to 50% sooner than previously.

Dr. Stacy Dickson, manager of Orlando Health’s infant screening program, says “time is of the essence” with some conditions and “the sooner a child can be diagnosed, the sooner the treatment can begin.”

 

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