Although ∼95% of US newborns are now screened for hearing loss at birth, more than half of those who do not pass the screen lack a documented diagnosis. In an effort to improve the quality of the follow-up process, teams from 8 states participated in a breakthrough-series learning collaborative. Teams were trained in the Model for Improvement, a quality-improvement approach that entails setting clear aims, tracking results, identifying proven or promising change strategies, and the use of small-scale, rapid-cycle plan-do-study-act tests of these changes. Parents acted as equal partners with professionals in guiding system improvement. Teams identified promising change strategies including ensuring the correct identification of the primary care provider before discharge from the birthing hospital; obtaining a second contact number for each family before discharge; “scripting” the message given to families when an infant does not pass the initial screening test; and using a “roadmap for families” as a joint communication tool between parents and professionals to demonstrate each family's location on the “diagnostic journey.” A learning-collaborative approach to quality improvement can be applied at a state-system level. Participants reported that the collaborative experience allowed them to move beyond a focus on improving their own service to improving connections between services and viewing themselves as part of a larger system of care. Ongoing quality-improvement efforts will require refinement of measures used to assess improvement, development of valid indicators of system performance, and an active role for families at all levels of system improvement.

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