Improving Newborn Screening Through Interoperability

Altarum is providing technical assistance to states to advance connectivity between state public health newborn screening programs and health care providers.

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Newborn screening programs are a vital public health resource that enable millions of infants to benefit from early detection and intervention of genetic, endocrine, metabolic, hearing, and critical congenital heart conditions. Yet in many jurisdictions across the country newborn screening data is fragmented, siloed, and subject to different screening procedures, turnaround times, and methods of interpreting results.

Our Approach

Altarum and its partners are helping states and jurisdictions address these gaps, creating a more streamlined and uniform system of newborn screening and reporting. We are building an online Resource Center for the exchange of knowledge with experts and peers, providing interoperability training, assessing state interoperability readiness, and creating customized roadmaps for states to help them reach specific interoperability objectives.

This builds on our two decades of experience advancing state health information exchange and interoperability, which includes developing solutions using a variety of products including Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), CDA and HL7 Version 2; building applications that support information exchange for disease surveillance and care coordination; and helping to create national standards for electronic birth defect reporting, newborn screening early hearing detection and intervention, and critical congenital heart defects and disease.


While this HRSA-funded effort is just getting started, several states have already been accepted into the initiative. By improving connectivity between state public health newborn screening programs and health care providers, this program will help reduce morbidity and mortality associated with heritable disorders in newborns and children.

Improving Newborn Screening Through Interoperability Contact

Contact Us

Laura Rappleye

Laura Rappleye

Senior Director, Public Health Interoperability

Areas of Expertise
  • Interoperability Standards Development
  • Public Health and Clinical Integration
  • Health Information Exchange

Laura Rappleye has 20 years of experience planning and implementing health IT solutions in public health and clinical care settings. She specializes in advancing population health through integrating clinical and public health data sets. Laura has led the creation of standardized implementation guides and automated data quality assurance and validation tools for the state of Michigan. Laura serves as a co-chair for the Health Level Seven (HL7) Public Health Work Group.