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Newborn Screening Collaborative

About one in every 750 babies born in the United States is diagnosed with a potentially serious or even deadly genetic disorder. Early and effective treatment can often prevent the most devastating consequences, but time is of the essence—a child can become extremely ill or die in just the first few days of life if fast action is not taken.

By law, all South Carolina babies are screened for 52 different disorders, but a report in 2013 found that one of every three newborn screening samples in our state took five or more days to get to the state lab for testing. Federal guidelines recommend, at most, a three-day turnaround.

Recognizing the urgent need for improvement, the South Carolina Hospital Association partnered with all 45 birthing hospitals and SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to launch The South Carolina Newborn Screening Collaborative – On Time Every Time in 2014 to achieve one goal: to ensure all specimens would be sent for laboratory testing within 24 hours after the blood was drawn.

The collaborative took swift action to identify and eliminate any obstacles to success inside or outside hospital walls. Transparency was key throughout the process. All South Carolina hospitals now receive regular public reports showing the data and progress for every facility in the state.

Within a year, 93% of birthing hospitals were meeting the 24-hour goal, up from just 25% when the collective began its efforts. And the collaborative continues today, ensuring that every child born in South Carolina has the best chance at a healthy, happy life.

For more information on the Newborn Screening Collaborative, contact Beth Morgan at