The adoption of electronic chain of custody, also known as ECCF, has streamlined the drug testing process for many companies and drug testing providers. Many companies however, continue to use paper chain of custody forms for some or all types of testing. At this time, there are certain circumstances that may require not only the use of a paper chain of custody form but also the coordination of the collection with a mobile or after-hours collector.
Drug testing providers should be proactive in identifying if after-hours or on-site testing may be needed by a client. This may be based on the client’s operating procedures, circumstances, or regulatory requirements. For employers who are regulated by the Department of Transportation, for example, post-accident and reasonable suspicion testing is required under specific, defined circumstances. Also, this testing must be conducted no matter what time of day or what day of the week the incident occurs. For non-regulated companies, after-hours or post-accident testing may be required by the company policy or in conjunction with union or labor contracts.
Failing to complete the testing when required by regulations or contracts or even in other situations can open a company to potential legal liability. As a drug testing provider, it is essential that you plan ahead to best serve your customers, and this includes providing options for after hours or on-site testing as needed.
For customers with a single location where employees are operating out of that location only, you may be able to locate a local collection site that will offer on-site or after-hours collections or there may be a hospital in the area that can provide drug test collections on an emergency basis. Each of these will require some work to get an account set up or billing arrangements made to ensure testing can be completed when needed. Most collectors or collection sites will not complete the collection without getting paid or knowing who to bill and some may require this to be set up by a billing department prior to the event.
Other customers may have multiple locations, employees in different areas, or employees who are traveling, such as truck drivers, contractors, etc. In these circumstances, a local clinic will likely not be able to meet their needs so a mobile or after-hours collection service may be the best option to ensure that your clients have access to collections when the need arises.
Planning and preparing ahead of time can prevent after-hours and post-accident situations from being tricky, difficult, or confusing for clients. If after-hours or on-site collections are not included in the services you provide directly, then working with an after-hours provider or mobile collections company that can arrange these collections can be an alternative and add value to the services you provide to your customers.