Drug testing is a complex but incredibly convenient technique that is now easily accessible to anyone who wants it. Whether it is logistics companies remaining compliant with DOT regulations, a business that wants a safer workplace, or even someone getting a court-ordered drug test for divorce or custody purposes, drug testing is now an easy, well-documented process.
This is, in large part, thanks to a team of professionals that know how to do their jobs quickly and efficiently. One of those people is the Medical Review Officer, but who is the MRO? What does an MRO do?
Keeping Things Fair
In some ways, it’s accurate to say that an MRO is like the “referee” of a drug testing facility, ensuring that everything is done fairly and appropriately to ensure that the truth comes out and that people are treated appropriately.
The most important thing to know about MROs is that they are doctors, with medical degrees, who have then undergone further training to be certified as Medical Review Officers. This means they are fully versed in the drug testing process, and can now be considered experts in this field.
One of the most important areas where MROs can be critical is in understanding and protecting people’s rights, especially with regards to medical treatment. For example, some drug tests can now test for the usage of medical drugs that have been abused and sold on the black market, such as opioids like oxycontin, and other painkillers.
A person may “fail” a drug test for these substances, and show usage of these drugs. However, if the person has a legitimate prescription for these drugs, and is using them as directed, it is unfair to flag a person for having failed a drug test on a medically prescribed drug when they are legitimately, legally prescribed and ordered by a doctor to use those drugs.
An MRO, in this case, can discuss the specifics with the individual. After evaluating the results and consulting with the individual, verifying the prescription, the result can be labeled as a “negative,” since this is not an illegal use of the drug.
Always use a facility that has an MRO on duty for drug testing. This is an extra level of expertise and reduces your exposure to liability. An MRO has the qualifications to make accurate judgments about drug testing, and know the administrative and legal procedures to ensure that everything is done correctly and is legally verifiable in court.