What Is A Medical Review Officer?
What Is A Medical Review Officer?

What Is A Medical Review Officer?

Blog and Opinions Red Slashes May 13, 2022
By: Kendra Lawrysyn

What is a Medical Review Officer?

A Medical Review Officer (MRO) is a crucial element in occupational testing companies. As impartial licensed physicians, these individuals analyze laboratory results from drug testing programs. When reporting information, they provide individualized medical explanations for specific donor drug tests. This allows the donor a fair process to explain their results before an MRO provides final verification. An MRO ensures the accuracy of non-negative test results.

The following are some of the roles and responsibilities that an MRO handles:

  • Review results whether they are positive, negative, substituted, adulterated, rejected, or invalid for testing
  • If needed, discusses donor history with appropriate professionals to provide final verification
  • Report results to the Designated Employee Representative, organization, or agency
  • Provide a list of recommended tests if necessary
  • Maintain records for a mandated period with confidentiality
  • Maintain privacy and confidentiality

The MROs that are a part of CannAmm’s team are independent contractors. These licensed physicians are key in CannAmm’s commitment to providing accurate results. MROs ensure that every test performed on an employee, or potential employee, is of the highest standard. Using certified collection technicians and testing technologies is key to achieving this.

MROs verify the results of hundreds of tests each day. This often results in a lot of paperwork and record-keeping that is important to keep error-free. This is why they often work with Medical Review Officer Assistants (MROA). Though they do not assist with reviewing laboratory tests, the work that this group of individuals does is important. These team members perform administrative tasks including the following:

  • Filing test forms
  • Check reports for flaws
  • Ensure the delivery of reports to clients
  • Maintain proper record keeping for all results reviewed by the MRO for a mandated period

To work as an MRO, several qualifications need to be adhered to. This includes the Department of Health and Human Services’ mandatory guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs. This is especially important if MROs are verifying test results within the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT). Each individual within the chain of custody in this regulated program has to be aware of the particular practices and procedures. There is no regulatory body in Canada that governs the requirements for drug and alcohol testing. Thus, it is most common that MROs follow the same U.S. DOT standards.

A certified MRO must:

  • Be a licensed physician
  • Have a background education in toxicology and pharmacology of illicit substances
  • Be reviewed by an MRO certifying association
  • Pass their exam
  • Trained to:
    • The HHS Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs standard
    • Understand the collection procedure
    • Understand the chain of custody for drug test specimens
    • Understand the procedures for reviewing, interpreting, and reporting results

Looking to learn more about CannAmm’s drug and alcohol testing programs and the steps that go into it? You can learn more about our specific MROs and procedures by reaching out to our subject experts. Connect with our team today to get your inquiries answered and to schedule your occupational testing services.

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