ARLINGTON, Texas--()--The benefits of social media are far-reaching, and the new medium can now potentially impact the lives of thousands of newborns worldwide, according to a new study conducted by Emily Berry, public health specialist at OZ Systems.
“Social media platforms could become a viable tool for newborn screening follow up, as long as patient and family privacy remains a top priority”
In a recent survey of parents and newborn screening practitioners, more than 77 percent of the parents polled were willing to support public health departments’ use of social media—under certain conditions—to locate a parent’s or guardian’s contact information and ensure the necessary follow-up and treatment takes place after a newborn screening.
Those parents also cited privacy concerns as a potential drawback, but would agree to this approach as long as it avoids any public interaction and exposure like “friending” and “wall posts” on popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Public Health Departments would only use each outlet’s search functions to gather public information.
“Social media platforms could become a viable tool for newborn screening follow up, as long as patient and family privacy remains a top priority,” said Berry, who is a Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH). “When patients can’t be reached through traditional means, outlets like Facebook and Twitter could prove useful for public health as an alternative means to discreetly find a patient’s contact information and ensure that optimum care is delivered.”
It is estimated that of every 100,000 babies born worldwide, 300 test positive for hearing loss, and 150 may test positive for a metabolic or genetic disorder. And of those who test positive, approximately 50 percent don’t receive the needed follow-up and intervention—potentially leading to negative developmental and educational outcomes.
OZ Systems will present its findings in a June 25 workshop at the Genetic Alliance 25th Anniversary Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.
OZ Systems is the developer of eScreener Plus™ (eSP™), the world’s most widely-used and proven newborn screening data solution. The cloud-based hearing and metabolic screening system provides enhanced information management and communications capabilities for public health organizations, hospitals, practitioners and educators. Since 2000, eSP™ has helped protect the health of more than 8 million newborns.
About OZ Systems
Founded in 1996, OZ Systems is a provider of data management technology and services for the healthcare and education industries. Based in Arlington, Texas, the company helps public health, clinicians and educators make good decisions for children through the company’s information systems, newborn screening technology, school readiness programs and other services. For more information, visit www.oz-systems.com. Follow OZ Systems on Twitter: @OZSystems.