Why Use a Medical Review Officer to Verify Drug Test Results?

Organizations with safety-sensitive employees covered by DOT regulations must use a Medical Review Officer (MRO) to verify urine drug testing results. Organizations NOT covered by DOT regulations may use a MRO since false drug results happen; either false negatives or false positives. Certain medications can cause false positive results, and tests or specimens being tampered with is a factor common in false negatives. The MRO’s role is to ensure that you get accurate drug testing.

The Verification Process

Every individual who has a positive laboratory result has an opportunity to speak with an MRO before a final report is made to the company.  After interviewing a donor, the MRO may consult with laboratory or collection site, refer the case to a local physician for a face-to-face interview and physical examination , or order a retest of the original specimen.

Once test results are finalized, your Compliance Account Representative will provide those results to you quickly, and securely. Negative results are released within 18 – 24 hours. Non-negative results, after being reviewed by the MRO are released immediately to the client.  The length of time varies due a variety of reasons such as the untimely response of the donor to the MRO’s call, the number of positive drugs detected, and if testing was conducted at the end of a work week.

MRO Qualifications
This licensed physician (Doctor of Medicine or Osteopathy) is the gatekeeper between the laboratory and the employer.  The MRO is knowledgeable about and has clinical experience in controlled substance abuse disorders, including detailed knowledge of alternative medical explanations for laboratory confirmed drug test results; and is knowledgeable about issues relating to adulterated and substituted specimens as well as the possible medical causes of specimens having an invalid result.  Additionally, the MRO has extensive knowledge of the drug and alcohol testing regulations that cover all divisions of the DOT.

The two MRO medical societies dedicated to establishing national standards and certification of MROs are the American Association of Medical Review Officers (www.aamro.com) and the Medical Review Officer Certification Council (www.mrocc.org).

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