It ain’t over until the fat lady sings!

Mrs Delene Thomas1

 1Healthy Hearing Program, Queensland, Pullenvale, Brisbane, Australia


Queensland Healthy Hearing Program transitioned to the new AccuScreen device technology during the years of 2016 to 2017. Change seems to create chaos despite best laid plans. The early roll out experience yielded higher than expected refer rates outside best practice benchmarks. Changing this trajectory was vital to ensure the delivery of a high-quality service in Queensland with the priority to minimise adverse impacts for families and health professionals.

This presentation discusses how the QChild database was interrogated to produce reliable trends identifying screening sites, and screeners who would benefit from additional support and education. Queensland purchased simulator doll technology to complement existing education resources. This hands-on teaching tool would target the most common challenges for screeners, and promote instant, improved understanding and awareness of what the device displays were showing, and how to better use the screening device.

Data will demonstrate improvement for pre, and post refer rates across sites following the introduction of the simulator doll training. There was immediate positive impacts for babies and families due to improved screener practice. In addition, proof of significant cost savings can be extrapolated to support how this form of education will yield ongoing savings and resource efficiencies in the current environment of limited health funding.

This resource has become an embedded, invaluable teaching tool, and has been complemented by the review and enhancement of other screener education resources.  Contemporary online resources and screening training modules using Webinar technology is now available anytime, anywhere across the state to meet local requirements. Utilisation of QChild data continues to inform and support successful education of the screening workforce in Queensland.


Delene is a member of the Queensland Healthy Hearing state-wide team supporting Nurses and Midwives to deliver a high quality newborn hearing screening service using the best, current evidence.