NewSTEPs: The Establishment of a National Newborn Screening Technical Assistance Resource Center

Date: December 22, 2017
As newborn screening (NBS) programs in the US implement expanded screening panels, utilize emerging technologies and identify areas for improvement, the need to establish and maintain a community engagement based national technical assistance center becomes apparent. The Newborn Screening Technical assistance and Evaluation Program (NewSTEPs)—a program of the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) in partnership with the Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH), offers expertise in newborn screening program development, member connection, data analysis, and program evaluation. NewSTEPs provides a secure online data repository designed to collect comprehensive data on newborn screening programs in three strata: state profiles (description of each state program including program hours, fees, and disorders screened), quality indicators (metrics of program performance encompassing screening accuracy and timeliness) and NBS public health surveillance case definitions. NewSTEPs was created in 2012 under a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB). Successful activities of NewSTEPs have resulted in the establishment of a technical assistance resource center and the organization of a network of newborn screening experts. In addition, NewSTEPs coordinates efforts with other federally funded programs in order to maximize resources and to ensure a unified approach to data collection and information sharing.