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Newborn Screening Ontario
Health Care Providers

Report Cards

The Newborn Screening Ontario Submitter Quality Indicator Report

Newborn Screening Ontario (NSO) has developed tools and metrics to help hospitals and midwifery practices gauge whether they are using the current screening system optimally and to ensure timely and high quality screening for infants in their care. The reports are distributed on a quarterly basis and provide information about three key newborn screening (NBS) performance indicators: Sample Transit Time, Unsatisfactory Samples and Age at Collection.

  • Sample Transit Time: A site specific graphical report showing the time in business days that it takes from the collection of a NBS dried blood spot (DBS) sample to its receipt at NSO. Data is displayed based on the day of the week the sample is collected and includes all samples received at NSO during the period of the report.

This indicator is useful for highlighting the practice of “batching” samples collected over more than one day and shipping them together. It is also sensitive to weather or courier related delays and delays attributed to shipping samples from a geographically challenged location.

Please click here for information about how to interpret the Transit Time Indicator


  • Unsatisfactory Samples: A site specific graphical report showing the number of NBS samples received during the report period which were reported by NSO as unsatisfactory. This indicator includes an itemization of the reasons why samples were reported as unsatisfactory and permits comparison to the provincial trend.

This indicator is useful for highlighting the most common reason(s) why samples collected at a hospital or midwifery practice are rejected so that changes to collection practices may be considered.

​​Please click here for information about how to interpret your Unsatisfactory Sample Indicator.


  • Age at Collection: A site specific graphical report providing information about the timing of NBS sample collection by a hospital or midwifery practice. Only data for initial samples is included in this report. The indicator displays the “Age at Collection” (in days) on the x-axis and the “Cumulative Percent Samples Collected” on the y-axis. The “Cumulative Percent Samples Collected” is the running total of all of the samples collected between birth and the age specified on the X axis, expressed as a percent of the total number of samples collected during the period of the report.

This indicator may be helpful for guiding operational processes aimed at accommodating the NSO recommended age for initial NBS sample collection.

Please click here for instructions on how to interpret the Age at Collection Indicator.


  • Requisition Completion Indicator: The Requisition Completion Indicator displays the percent-completeness of eight key fields on the newborn screening (NBS) blood collection device and includes all NBS samples received by NSO from  your institution or midwifery practice during the period of the report. These critical fields are used for the purpose of identifying and linking newborns with previous screening specimens and to their families and healthcare providers. Demographic information is also applied in the disorder logics used to help interpret screening results.

Missing/incomplete information in any of these fields on the requisition requires that NSO staff members establish follow-up contact with the submitting institution by phone, resulting in unnecessary delays in the infant’s screening process and creating un-necessary work for both you and NSO.

Please click here for instructions on how to interpret the Requisition Completion Indicator.

For further inquiries, or for recommendations as to how we might improve this report, please contact Christine McRoberts (NSO Quality Coordinator).