SMC Nursery Ranked #1 Again for Quality Newborn Screenings

August 16, 2013

The Alabama Department of Public Health presented Springhill Medical Center’s Nursery staff with an award for being among the top five hospitals in the state to meet the goal of 5% or less unsatisfactory or rejected specimen rate during the period of January 2012-March 2013. It is important that the quality and integrity of the newborn screening specimen is adequate for testing as it results in timely diagnosis and treatment for babies that may have a disorder.

Springhill Medical Center was ranked 1 out of 51 birthing centers during this period. SMC had an overall unsatisfactory rate of 2.2% which means that only 17 specimens out of 761 total specimens were rejected during this period.

“This is quite an accomplishment, and we commend your efforts to provide quality newborn screening specimens to the State Health Laboratory,” said Cindy Ashley, BSN, RN, C, Director, ADPH Newborn Screening Program. “Your facility is the only birthing facility that has received this award for two consecutive award years which includes 2011.”

The Alabama Newborn Screening Program currently screens for 30 of 31 disorders in the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (RUSP). Each year in Alabama, 150-200 babies are identified with a metabolic, endocrine, hematological, or other congenital disorder through newborn screening.  Most babies that have a disorder look and act healthy at birth, thus newborn screening is essential in identifying conditions early.

Newborn screening has been recognized as one of public health's greatest achievements, and this year celebrates its 50th anniversary of saving babies. For the past 50 years, newborn screening has been responsible for saving about 12,000 babies each year from death or disability in the United States.