Purpose: We provide background information/education for national recommendations to include initial newborn screening dried bloodspot serial numbers in electronic birth registrations. Mutual data linking would provide quality checks for each data source, determinations of percentages of newborns screened, and identification of locations where screening is lacking.
Methods: State newborn screening dried bloodspot programs were surveyed to determine the extent of newborn screening dried bloodspot and electronic birth registration linking and the states' level of interest in such linkages. These data were reviewed with federal and state policy makers and presented to the Secretary of Health and Human Services' Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children for national policy recommendations.
Results: Only 40% of state newborn screening dried bloodspot programs reported comparing births with screens. All states use serially numbered newborn screening dried bloodspot collection cards, and electronic birth registrations exist in almost all states. Newborn screening dried bloodspot serial number data fields currently exist in only 24% of state electronic birth registrations.
Conclusion: The Secretary of Health and Human Services' Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children recommends the universal use of the newborn screening dried bloodspot serial number in a standardized format as part of state birth registration; consideration of including the initial newborn screening dried bloodspot serial number as a required data field; and, once established, using these data linkages to monitor completeness of newborn screening and to validate demographic information in both systems.