Maintaining Communication with Hospitals throughout the Life of a Data Exchange Pilot Project in Virginia

The Virginia Newborn Screening (NBS) program partnered with 12 birthing hospitals to pilot the exchange of electronic newborn screening orders and results, which assists in providing information in a rapid, effective and easily accessible way to various members of the NBS system. They initially had low participation by the hospital champions on monthly calls, leaving the NBS Program uninformed and out of touch with their pilot partners. This resulted in a re-evaluation of the communication plan. The Virginia NBS program has had success in maintaining communication by being flexible and taking advantage of existing communication structures already being used by the birthing facilities.

They participated in shorter meetings with individual hospitals versus a monthly extended meeting with all project participants. Some hospitals were already holding regular internal project meetings that the NBS program was allowed to attend. For hospitals not holding project team touchpoints, the NBS Program assisted in scheduling and coordinating these meetings. With just one hospital to speak to, sessions now took approximately 15 minutes, which meant more people were able to fit them into their schedules. To maintain flexibility in scheduling these calls, team members with the state shared responsibility in providing NBS program representation on each call. Project-wide meetings have been deferred to a quarterly basis to allow hospitals a chance to learn from one-another’s experiences, since it is expected that they may meet similar challenges.

The project held a 3 year timeline to go from fact-finding with hospital systems to complete implementation of order and results transmission, with a sustainability plan for implementation of hospital systems beyond the pilot project. Coming together and communicating with birthing hospitals proved to be crucial in successful implementation of the exchange of electronic NBS orders and results.