This is the drug testing process. It consists of the specimen collection, the laboratory processing and the MRO review. A Medical Review Officer (MRO) must review all tests, including negative ones. The MRO must ensure that the collection and laboratory processes were performed correctly and that there was nothing unusual either in the urine or with the laboratory procedures. Laboratory processing of specimens does not have a guaranteed time frame. The examples given below are estimates based on experience and guidance from the labs.
A collector will obtain a sample from the donor, package it and FedEx it to the laboratory. It is sent overnight and received by the lab the next business day. Within 24 hours, the collector will forward the MRO copy of the CCF (custody and control form) to the MRO.
All laboratories used by USA Mobile Drug Testing are SAMHSA certified labs (http://www.samhsa.gov/workplace/resources/drug-testing/certified-lab-list). The lab will receive the sample the next business day following the collection. Initial testing should be complete in 1 – 2 business days. If the specimen is negative the result will be sent to the MRO and may be received by the employer the same day or the next. If the specimen is non-negative, it will undergo additional testing, called “confirmation” testing at the lab and this can add an additional 2 - 3 business days. Once confirmation testing is complete, the result will be sent to the MRO.
The MRO Process:
Upon receipt of the result from the laboratory, the MRO reports out negative results as soon as possible, usually same day or very next day. If the result is non-negative from the lab, the MRO begins a careful process and follows a specific SOP (standard operating procedure). This process is followed each time a non-negative specimen is received. This process involves contacting the donor, following up on prescription medication information, etc. This part of the process can be and is routinely slowed by a lack of efficient cooperation by the donor. This process can take 1 – 5 business days and for DOT drug testing up to 10 business days. If the specimen result is in MRO review you can help speed up the process by contacting your employee or applicant and having them contact the MRO.
Once the MRO has determined the validity or lack thereof, of any information that affects the final test result, the MRO will release that result to the employer. If the MRO has been unable to make contact with the donor, the result will be prefaced by the terminology “NON-CONTACT POSITIVE”. If the donor wishes to contact the MRO concerning a NON-CONTACT POSITIVE result, he or she may do that. Ultimately, in this process, the MRO makes the final decision on the result.
There are a few problem tests that you should be aware of and require employer involvement.
Temperature out of range – if a donor provides a urine specimen and the temperature of the specimen is not within appropriate temperature range; a second specimen should be collected. The first is suspicious. For DOT testing this second collection is required to be a direct observed collection.
No specimen or insufficient quantity – if the donor cannot provide a specimen or not enough for testing, they must wait for up to three hours to provide a sufficient quantity of specimen. Up to only 40 ounces of water can be provided. If the donor leaves the collection site the employer must call this a refusal to test. If the 3 hours expires the employer should call there drug testing service provider for assistance.
Invalid specimen – Not very often an MRO final result report will indicate Invalid Specimen. This indicates the lab had difficulty testing the particular specimen and more than likely you will want to individual to go back for another test.
Dilute Positive result is positive. Dilute negative result is not positive, you can accept it as negative or you can required the donor to go back for another test.
ALWAYS CALL – Please inform you applicants and employees to call you at the point of collection if there is a problem then always call you drug testing service provider for assistance. Problems are much easier solved at the point of collection rather than when the employee gets back to your place of business.
Thanks to Tim Martin of USA Mobile Drug Testing of Jacksonville, Florida for providing this valuable information.