Need faster DOT drug test results?
With trucking’s high driver turnover and competitive job market, fleets risk losing top candidates if their hiring process is not efficient.
When an employer sends a potential hire to a collection site for a DOT drug test, the company hopes to receive the results quickly in order to get the new-hire through the hiring process as quickly as possible.
In an attempt to speed up the new-hire process, it is important for fleets to understand how drug test results can be delayed before finding solutions to get results faster.
The DOT drug testing process can be split into three areas: collection sites, labs, and—if a positive test result—the MRO, all of which can cause preventable delays in the entire process.
What are some causes of delays in drug test results?
Delays at collection sites
Delays caused at collection sites are usually caused by a simple collector mistake. For example, each sample should have the donor’s and the collector’s signature on the vial, and the collector may have forgotten. Also, the required forms may not have been filed at the collection site to have the errors fixed before lab testing of the samples can begin.
Beyond these simple collector errors, many smaller or remote collection sites do not send the urine samples to the labs on a daily basis. They may only have a courier come every two or three days before being shipped to labs for testing.
Also, many collection sites may not have a male or female collector available for an observed collection, forcing the donor to wait for that staff member to come in or being advised to find another collection site with proper staffing.
These delays could easily be avoided by working with a best-in-class collection site who use trained collectors, or using a drug and alcohol consortium who verifies quality collection sites in their network and, if a mistake is made, they continually follow-up on the status of the results.
Delays at the lab
Once the donor provides a sample, it is quickly sent to a drug testing lab for testing. Labs receive thousands of these specimens daily and each one must have their chain of custody form reviewed for accuracy.
Many of the flaws are correctable and an affidavit or memorandum is sent to the collector to be corrected and sent back. Once a completed chain of custody form or required signatures are received for the specimen sample, the specimen then goes through an initial base screen test.
If the drug test results is negative, no further testing is needed and the employer is quickly notified of the negative result. Negative results are often received within 24-48 hours.
If a non-negative result is found in the initial base screen test, the sample goes through a Gas Chromatography – Mass Spectrometry (GCMS) test process that includes breaking down the urine sample.
A delay in results from the lab can happen if the GCMS test does not affirm a negative or positive result. If this is the case, the specimen goes through another GCMS test process until an affirmative negative, positive, negative-dilute or positive-dilute result is given.
According to most labs, each round of GCMS testing is a batch of other specimens and each batch only gets ran once per 24 hours. If this happens, the delay of this donor’s drug test is unavoidable.
If a positive test is affirmed, the results are sent to a Medical Review Process (MRO). The MRO review process can take over a week to complete as the MRO attempts to reach the donor, has an initial interview with the donor, and, if the donor claims a prescription could have caused a false-positive, the MRO follows a procedure to verify the prescription.
Speed up the hiring process with fast DOT drug test results
Compliance Navigation Specialists ensure that the hiring process runs as efficiently as possible in order to speed up the pre-employment process. Not only do we help with your consortium, collection site and MRO services, we take it one step further.
Our Proactive Safety Management (PSM) program is the most comprehensive service we offer, covering all of your needs to manage your business, including driver qualification files, consortium management, ELD management, vehicle maintenance and more.
Many companies are finding it increasingly hard to maintain proper systems to make sure they are staying compliant throughout the year. We are your best solution, to support or act as, your safety department for a fraction of what it costs to hire a DOT Safety Director.
We pride ourselves in being flexible for our clients and working with all types of carriers from busy owner operators to larger fleets. CNS will be a valuable asset by keeping your company safe, compliant, aware of regulatory changes, proactive in all phases of potential risks, as well as profitable.