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Newborn Screening Education Program Highlights Two New Online Certified Learning Modules on Rare, but Deadly Critical Congenital Heart Disease

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA--(Marketwired - Aug 5, 2014) - The Newborn Screening Education project (www.newbornscreeningeducation.org), a joint venture between the Virginia Department of Health, the University of Virginia Office of Continuing Medical Education and the University of Virginia Children's Hospital, today announced a newly developed online module for hospital and healthcare professionals focused on the latest proven strategies on screening for Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD). 

Approximately 1 in 100 infants are born with some type of congenital heart disease (CHD). Some forms of CHD cause little or no problems, but other forms, referred to as CCHD, present a significant risk of morbidity or mortality if not diagnosed soon after birth. In fact, between 2-4 percent of all babies with CCHD will be discharged undiagnosed.

The fully online CCHD learning modules help both nursing professionals and physicians understand how to utilize oximetry effectively as a newborn screening tool.

  • The first course, Critical Congenital Heart Disease Screening, allows nurses to earn contact hours as they learn CCHD screening requirements and the screening process, and interpret screening results. After this course, nurses can demonstrate to physicians, nursing administration and hospital leadership that they understand the screening algorithm and how to apply it correctly.

  • The second course, MOC Part 2 - Critical Congenital Heart Disease Screening, allows physicians to earn 10 ABP-approved MOC Part 2 points as they learn CCHD screening requirements, how to interpret results and through case studies, understand how best to initiate the correct follow-up procedures for a failed screen.

According to Dr. Paul Matherne, Professor of Pediatrics and Division Head, Pediatrics Cardiology at the University of Virginia Health System, physicians are used to using oximetry as a diagnostic tool, not as a screening tool, "The challenge is that a professional may get 1 positive screen per 1,000 deliveries. That means CCHD may not be encountered often, but that's why professionals must be extra vigilant and prepared to catch CCHD on that rare occasion, and be familiar with how to use oximetry successfully for this type of nuanced screening."

When it comes to nursing, Kathleen Moline, RN, BSN, MA, Program Supervisor at the Virginia Department of Health, says that CCHD is relatively new territory. "This online module was developed to make sure nurses know how to apply the screening correctly by showing them where to put the probes, how to apply the probes correctly and what to look for when reading the algorithms. The online learning also shows nurses how to anticipate what the doctor may request, and how to communicate with parents in a reassuring way as the newborn goes through additional testing."

About The Newborn Screening Education Project
The Newborn Screening Education Program provides healthcare professionals and institutions with certified learning opportunities to ensure that all well newborns receive appropriate screening prior to discharge from the hospital. Continuing medical education modules within Newborn Screening Education include: Critical Congenital Heart Disease Screening, Maintenance of Certification Part 2 - Critical Congenital Heart Disease Screening and Newborn Dried Blood-Spot Screening. Modules coming soon include Newborn Hearing and Parent Education. www.newbornscreeningeducation.org 

The website is a joint effort of the Virginia Department of Health, the University of Virginia Office of Continuing Medical Education and the University of Virginia Children's Hospital. Development of CCHD educational content was partially funded by a grant awarded to the Virginia Department of Health from the US Department of Health and Human Services - Health Resource and Service Administration (HRSA).