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Laboratories for Workplace Drug Testing

03 Jan 2016

... SAMHSA Certified Laboratories for Workplace Drug Testing - These laboratories confirm all non-negative / positive employee drug screen samples by GC/MS testing. Laboratories with the SAMHSA certification are also available to test Non-DOT specimens.

For DOT testing and for non –DOT testing under many State Laws; an HHS certified laboratory must be utilized.  This is a best practice for all workplace drug testing.  The Division of Workplace Programs (DWP) a division of SAMHSA maintains an up to date listing of HHS certified laboratories which can be accessed at: http://www.samhsa.gov/workplace/resources/drug-testing/certified-lab-list.

Some State laws indicate that a laboratory for drug testing can be certified by SAMHSA as above or accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP). CAP can be reached at 847-446-8800. 

Over the years there has been much consolidation among the major labs providing workplace drug testing.  Several of the larger lab organizations have multiple labs across the country. 

Working with Labs can be challenging, they are large organizations and it is not always possible to talk to someone who can get something done now.   Mistakes and lost specimens will happen.  It is important that you track specimens leaving your facility, who picked them up and when.  Using FedEx and UPS allow for sophisticated tracking programs that allow you to check their respective websites to see when your specimens arrived and who signed for them.  Be aware that FedEx, UPS and Lab couriers can also lose specimens.

Billing from laboratories must be examined carefully.  Plan to devote much time and attention to the billing from the laboratory.

Most laboratories also sell drug testing direct to employers.  This is often to the very large employers as these labs do not typically employ a huge salesforce. 

After collection from the donor, a specimen is sealed with a tamper-evident seal and sent to a laboratory for analysis. The primary advantages of utilizing a laboratory for testing include compliance with regulations, accuracy, legal defensibility, and the ability to customize tests for the needs of you client.  A laboratory is a brick and mortar facility that does the testing, not the facility that collects the specimen.  Folks get confused about this and say I’m going to the lab for my drug test, they actually mean they are going to the collection site for specimen collection.  A very big investment is required to own and operate a laboratory.  Major laboratories currently involved with drug testing include Quest Diagnostics, LabCorp, MedTox, Alere Toxicology, and Clinical Reference Laboratory (CRL) – there are many others also both regional and national laboratories. Testing for Federal Agency employees, DOT testing program and many State laws stipulate using labs that are certified by the Department of Health and Human Services      (DHHS).  Commonly called SAMHSA certified labs, it is a best practice to always use these labs which have required quality control standards and a rigorous inspection process to insure accurate test results.  SAMHSA maintains a current list of certified laboratories available at: http://www.samhsa.gov/workplace/resources/drug-testing/certified-lab-list 

For assistance with setting ups your laboratory for workplace drug testing, call 866-843-4345.