Quality Indicators

Quality Indicator 2: Percent of dried blood spot specimens with at least one missing state-defined essential data field1 upon receipt at the lab


Purpose: To identify the number of submitted dried blood spot specimens missing at least one state-defined essential data field1 upon receipt at the lab, which may delay the testing of a specimen and reporting of results, causing potential harm to the newborn and requiring additional work for laboratory personnel to acquire the missing information.

Screening Data for Denominator: Number of dried blood spot specimens received at your state's newborn screening laboratory. This should include first and subsequent specimens.2

Quick Tips

  • Essential information is defined differently by each state, and consists of information that is critical for testing and follow-up activities. Missing essential information is that which impacts result interpretation and/or impedes the ability to identify and locate the infant in an emergent situation. The following is a list of data elements often considered essential information from the Emergency NBS Collection Cards: 
    • Patients Identification Number 
    • Infant's First & Last Name 
    • Date and Time of Birth
    • Date and Time of Specimen Collection 
    • Birth Weight at time of specimen collection
    • Sex 
    • Mother's First and Last Name 
    • Mother's Address 
    • Mother's Phone 
    • Submitter's Identification 
    • Submitter's Address 
    • Physician's Name 
    • Physician's Phone 
  • You do not need to tally how many fields are missing; only count the specimen in the numerator if at least one field is missing. 


  1. A list of data fields considered essential information pulled from the Emergency NBS Collection Card developed by the Association of Public Health Laboratories Quality Assurance/ Quality Control Subcommittee can be found in Appendix A: Glossary of Terms of the QI Source Document.  
  2. This includes multiple specimens collected from a single newborn, but not monitoring specimens (e.g. PKU monitoring)