Newborn Screening Information for Hospitals

Rhode Island screens newborns for 35 conditions, including hearing loss. Newborn screening is mandated for all babies born in Rhode Island.

What every birthing hospital must do

For every hospital birth, you are required to:

  • Know both the HIV status and hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) status of the mother. Follow the hospital protocol for HIV positive pregnant women. Report hepatitis B positive cases to the mother's physician, nursery staff, and the hospital's infection control department.
  • Inform the parents of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation that all babies receive hepatitis B vaccine and vaccinate the newborn as appropriate.
  • Perform bloodspot, hearing, and critical heart disease screening within 24-48 hours after the birth.
  • Inform the parents of the newborn hearing screening requirement.
  • Perform the hearing screening prior to hospital discharge
  • Provide the parents with the Newborn Screening and Services brochure. Include the baby's hearing screening results in this brochure.
  • Talk to the parents about the benefits of the First Connections home visiting program. Offer to arrange a home visit for them.

If the parents refuse to have their baby receive any or all of the required newborn screenings (bloodspot, hearing or critical congenital heart disease) or the hepatitis B vaccine, have the parents sign a refusal of consent form. Parents may refuse to have their babies screened or vaccinated if it conflicts with their religious beliefs.

Last updated on Friday, Nov 06 2020, 12:06:50 PM