MRO (Medical Review Officer) services play a crucial role in the interpretation and review of abnormal and positive drug and alcohol test results, both for DOT (Department of Transportation) and non-DOT testing programs. The MRO acts as a liaison between the laboratory, the donor, and the employer to ensure accurate and fair reporting of test results. Here’s an overview of the MRO process for abnormal and positive drug and alcohol tests:
- Receive Test Results: Once the laboratory completes the drug or alcohol test analysis, the results are forwarded to the MRO for review. This includes both confirmed positive results and other abnormal findings.
- Verification and Interview: The MRO verifies the test results and may conduct an interview with the donor to gather additional information. The purpose of the interview is to allow the donor an opportunity to provide a legitimate medical explanation for the positive or abnormal result. The MRO will review any supporting documentation or prescriptions provided by the donor.
- Evaluation and Assessment: The MRO evaluates all available information, including the test results, interview findings, medical documentation, and other relevant factors. They assess whether there is a legitimate medical explanation for the positive or abnormal result, such as the use of prescribed medications or a documented medical condition.
- Final Determination and Reporting: Based on their evaluation, the MRO makes a final determination regarding the test result. If there is a legitimate medical explanation, the result may be reported as negative. If there is no valid medical explanation, the result is reported as positive or non-compliant. The MRO prepares a detailed report outlining their findings and communicates it to the employer or designated entity responsible for the testing program.
- Compliance and Follow-up: Employers or responsible entities use the MRO’s report to make informed decisions regarding the individual’s employment or other relevant matters. In DOT-regulated programs, specific protocols must be followed for compliance, which may include counseling, rehabilitation, or removal from safety-sensitive positions. Non-DOT programs may have their own policies and procedures for addressing positive or abnormal test results.
The involvement of an MRO ensures that proper medical expertise is applied in the evaluation of test results, addressing potential false positives, prescription medication use, and legitimate medical reasons for abnormal or positive findings. Their objective is to protect the rights and privacy of individuals while maintaining the integrity of the drug and alcohol testing process.
It’s important to note that the specific procedures and requirements for MRO review may vary depending on the testing program, regulations, and the MRO provider. Employers and testing programs often contract with MRO services to ensure compliance and proper handling of abnormal and positive drug and alcohol tests.