A Medical Review Officer (MRO) is a person who is a licensed physician and who is responsible for receiving and reviewing laboratory results generated by a drug testing program and evaluating medical explanations for certain drug test results.
MRO acts as an independent and impartial "gatekeeper" and advocate for the accuracy and integrity of the drug testing process. MRO's provides quality assurance review of the drug testing process for the specimens under your purview, determine if there is a legitimate medical explanation for laboratory confirmed positive, adulterated, substituted and invalid drug test results, ensure the timely flow of test result and other information to employers and protect the confidentiality of the drug testing information.
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 donor 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 as negative because there is a legitimate, verified medical reason for the positive lab test result. However, if the donor is unable to provide a valid medical explanation for a positive lab test result, the MRO reports the test result as positive.
Using an MRO to review and interpret the laboratory test results protects the employer, court, and the donor from having to make decisions regarding a claims that his or her drug test result was caused by a medication or medical treatment. It also keeps the all parties from having to deal with the complicated issues related to the release or disclosure of private donor's 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.