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Why Should I Use A Medical Review Officer (MRO)?

Although not always required, an MRO is an important part of an effective drug testing program.  An MRO is a licensed medical doctor who has special training in substance abuse testing.  Using an MRO helps to protect both the employer and its employees. 


The MRO reviews the lab results to makes sure the correct test panel was performed and that the correct procedures were followed by the collector.  When a drug test is reported positive by the lab, the MRO also contacts the employee to determine if there is a legitimate medical explanation for the positive lab result.  Some prescription medications or medical treatments can cause a positive test result.  In these cases, the MRO will obtain verification of a valid prescription or recent medical treatment. The test result is then reported to the employer as negative because there is a legitimate, verified medical reason for the positive lab test result.  However, if the employee is unable to provide a valid medical explanation for a positive lab test result,  the MRO reports the test result as positive to the employer.  

Using an MRO to review and interpret the laboratory 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 utilize the services of an MRO for all drug testing, even if it is not required by state law.

Go back to IHSN's Drug Testing Essentials

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