A Medical Review Officer or M.R.O. is an expert  License Physician that carries knowledge in toxicology and pharmacology of illicit drugs and substances. The M.R.O. is an important part of the drug testing process, as sometimes a laboratory initial drug test result could be reported as positive and where it does not automatically deemed a donor final positive report.

Most Laboratories work in connection with an M.R.O. The professional will provide an independent analysis of a positive result. The M.R.O. will determine if the results are in fact positive or negative, allowing the donor to provide a proper explanation that may include the possibility of a prescription medication or a medical conditions that could cause a positive result, and in some cases as well the possible ingestions of a substance that could affect a laboratory result. Also by privacy laws, that may protect the donor from disclosing a positive final report to an entity or a company.

Reporting Time & Process

The process starts from the moment of the donor’s collection. Most specimens are sent out and received at the laboratory in an overnight next day shipping basis(weekends and holidays may delay arrivals). Once the laboratory receives the specimen, typically a negative results is reported in between 3-5 business days, positives results must undergo thru a confirmation process to ensure of the substance that could cause a presumed positive. Depending of the amount of positives, a confirmation may take an additional 2 to 5 business days and in some scenarios, could be a longer period due to the complexity of the substance, as well the amount of positives.

Once the report has been confirmed as positive, the report is forward to the M.R.O. along with the chain of custody form (CCF) that includes donor’s contact information. This process is usually done in between 1 business day, allowing the M.R.O. to enter the necessary information from the donor’s CCF into their database.

The M.R.O. then will contact the donor and interview the person via phone, and will go over of any information that could explain or prove the reason for the positive, if any,  the  M.R.O. will verify prescription medication(s) or medical conditions  that the donor may be under, to match the initial positive(s). Also the M.R.O. will cover with the donor any other reason for the positive result(s). This process is usually completed in between 2 business days. Yet if the donor is not reachable, the process may be delay, and at this point the donor is responsible to return the request  the M.R.O.. If the donor does not respond, typically the M.R.O will reach out to the collection agency and in some cases to the company who initially ordered the test to try to get in touch with the donor. Most M.R.O’s .will report positives in between 5 business days after unsuccessful  attempts to reach the donor.

In a summary, most final reports on positives are delivered in between 5- 10 days, but is some instances it could take over 10 days depending of the circumstances that could be affected it by, including the efficiency of the process to receive reports from the laboratory, and most important of the donor prompt communication and delivery of the necessary and required information requested by the M.R.O. It is recommended for the requested party to avoid any questions to the donor, collection agency, laboratory and M.R.O. offices in regards of the possibility of a  positive report from the donor, and wait until the process is completed, to understand that a delay on a final report may not suggest the possibility of a positive report.


Note:*articles on this blog/newsletter are for informational purposes only , articles does not represent any opinion of our company in regards of the subject and do not constitute medical advice,source article from partner’s laboratories, information not guarantee in the events of errors.