An MRO is a licensed medical doctor who has completed additional training and passed an examination substance abuse testing.
By using MROs as part of the drug and alcohol testing programmes, an employer not only protects themselves but also their employees.
In the review of a drug or alcohol test result, the MRO reviews the lab finding to ensure the correct test was done, on designated equipment which has been appropriately calibrated AND was performed in accordance to the procedures set out in the Drug and Alcohol / HR policies. They also ensure that the samples were correctly attained by the collector.
When a test is reported as positive by the lab or breath test equipment, the MRO also contacts the employee to determine if there is a legitimate medical explanation for the non-negative result. Some prescription medications or medical treatments can cause a non-negative result. In these cases, the MRO will obtain verification of a valid prescription or recent medical treatment.
The test result can then be over rided and reported back to the employer as negative result.
However, if the employee is unable to provide a valid medical explanation for a non-negative test result, the MRO reports the test result as verified positive to the employer.
Using an MRO to review and interpret the test results protects the employer from having to make decisions regarding an employee's claims that his or her drug test result was caused by a medication or medical treatment. It also keeps the employer from having to deal with the complicated issues related to the release or disclosure of private employee medical information.
MRO review is required for every Department of Transportation (DOT) drug test. It is highly recommended that employers use the services of an MRO for all drug and alcohol testing, even if it is not required by local laws.
An MRO can also assist employers on policy development, types of testing, timing of testing and auditing of programmes.
An MRO may assist employees where they feel that there was an error in the process or the final determination of the result.
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