Risk Screening

What is the Healthy Start Risk Screen?

Florida Statute 383.14 requires that all pregnant women be offered the Healthy Start Prenatal Risk Screening at their first or consequent prenatal visit and the Healthy Start Infant (Postnatal) Risk Screening be offered to parents or guardians of all infants bo in Florida before leaving the delivery facility. Healthy Start risk screens identify risk factors so women and infants may be referred for services that complement and assure continued participation in prenatal and infant health care.

How were the screening forms developed?

The Healthy Start screening instruments (prenatal & infant) were developed by a workgroup that included physicians, nurses, social workers, researchers, program specialists and other professionals knowledgeable in the field of mateal and child health. The instruments were created after extensive research and analysis of risk factors and a statewide advisory council later approved the forms.

Have the screens been evaluated for validity?

The risk screens have been evaluated to determine their success in identifying those women and infants most at risk for adverse outcomes. Current studies that have linked birth outcomes to Healthy Start screening data suggest that both screening instruments are effective.

Studies indicate that:

The Healthy Start Prenatal Screen is:

  • Predictive of preterm birth (34 weeks since LMP) and LBW< 2000 Grams.
  • Of 87K women screen in 2001, 35% were at an increased risk.
  • 48% of the women who had an adverse birth had a positive screen.
  • Women with positive scores are 1.7 times or 70% more likely to experience preterm birth or to have a low birth weight infant.

The Healthy Start Infant (postnatal) screen is:

  • Predictive of post-neonatal death.
  • 12% screen positive (score of 4+).
  • 51% of post-neonatal deaths occur among the 12%.
  • Infants who score 4 or more on the Healthy Start screen are 6 times as likely to die during the post-neonatal period (28 -364 days after birth) than those who score less than 4.


(Data from Healthy Start Annual Report 2003)

Are the screening forms available in more than one language?

Screening forms are available in English, Spanish & Creole.

What is the goal of screening?

Healthy Start risk screening is the collection of information on the designated prenatal & infant (postnatal) screening forms. The form is scored to assess risk and to identify those infants most at risk for adverse health outcomes. Screening is the first step to identify Healthy Start service recipients. It is our goal to ensure that all newbos and pregnant women are screened for risk factors. The majority of pregnant women and infants will not be eligible for Healthy Start services, as they will not have the risk factors required. However, the data collected in the risk screen enables the state of Florida to analyze the factors that have the greatest impact on birth outcomes and the factors that most affect residents of our County.

The Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade staff monitors the trends for the Healthy Start Screening forms both Prenatal and Postnatal. The following reports show the current trends found from 1995 – present by Calendar Year (Janaury 1 – December 31):

Get in Touch. Get Involved.

You can make an impactful difference in Miami’s underserved children’s lives when you donate! Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade’s revenue is derived in part from donations like yours!

7205 NW 19th Street,
Suite 500,
Miami, FL 33126

Call Us: (305) 541-0210

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7205 NW 19th Street, Suite 500,
Miami, FL 33126
(305) 541-0210
Monday to Friday — 8:30am to 5pm