An MRO Assistant, also known as an MRO-A or MRO Team Member, is someone who assists the MRO (Medical Review Officer) with certain MRO duties, including organizing and reporting of DOT and non-DOT urine drug screen test results to the employee and employer. To perform those tasks well requires the MRO Assistant to have knowledge about all aspects of the drug testing process. Gaining a mastery of this knowledge is challenging because it entails being knowledgeable about each of the entities in the drug testing process (employer, collector, Laboratory, TPA), as well as some knowledge of laboratory procedures and terminology.
Organize incoming copies of the CCF
Upon receipt of the MRO’s copy of the CCF, the MRO-A should organize the incoming documents. There are several ways an MRO-A may organize the MRO copy of the CCF to facilitate the matching of the laboratory result with the correct CCF:
• Organize by Employee ID numbers
• Arrange by Specimen ID numbers
• Organize by Laboratory
• Organize by Employer
• Organize by date of collection
Match the MRO and lab copies of the CCF
Once the MRO office has received the Lab report, the MRO Assistant must match up the lab report with the MRO copy of the CCF for that test result. A “Best Practice” is for the MRO-A to establish three identifiable markers on the CCF to ensure the CCF and the drug test result are the same. For example, the MRO-A may use the specimen identification number, the donor’s identification number, and the collection site information, as well as the collection date and time of the collection as the three data points to ensure that the lab report matches the MRO form.
Review the MRO and lab copy of the CCF for completeness
MRO Assistants must review the MRO copy to ensure it is complete and does not omit necessary information. This is where an MRO-A’s knowledge of the drug testing process, such as how the collector must complete the CCF, and how laboratories receive and document test results is vital.
Contact the donor to set up the MRO/donor interview
Positive and abnormal results require the MRO to conduct an interview with the donor to determine if the donor has a valid medical reason for the result. Although the MRO Assistant may not conduct the actual interview, they can initiate contact with the donor to set-up a date and time for the interview or transfer the call to the MRO.
Assist the MRO in preparing for the donor interview
To prepare for the interview the MRO-A should gather all information pertaining to the drug screening result. This information will include the laboratory copy and the MRO copy of the CCF, the laboratory result and a donor interview form. Although the MRO may use the MRO copy of the CCF to make donor interview notes, a best practice is for the MRO to use a donor interview form.
Report negative drug test results after MRO verification of the report
MRO Assistants can report negative results to employers and employees, which makes the reviewing and reporting process more efficient because it reduces the number of results that the MRO must handle. The MRO-A may use a copy of the MRO copy of the CCF to report negative results, or they may use an alternate report form that can be either in paper format or an electronic data file.
Although these are some of the core tasks an MRO-A can perform, there are many more details on how these tasks must be performed. There is also an extensive list of tasks the MRO-A is not permitted to perform. Training is available to help the MRO-A prepare for this vital role.
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