A Medical Review Officer (MRO) is a licensed physician (M.D.) with training in substance abuse. The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires MRO certification for physicians who perform MRO duties for federally mandated employment drug testing. Their in-depth understanding of the protocols and Chain of Custody (CoC) requirements involved in employee drug testing serve to protect the rights and confidentiality of both employer and employee.
The MRO interprets lab results to determine whether a legitimate medical explanation exists for any “confirmed positive” results. The MRO also examines “negative” tests that show an abnormal result, indicating attempted alteration. The MRO then contacts the employee. If there is verifiable evidence of a legally prescribed medication or any other medical reason for the confirmed positive result, the MRO has the authority to overturn this.
Non-DOT organizations can consider not using MRO services if using Confirmation from a certified laboratory. This can save Non-DOT organizations time and money while meeting legal considerations.