Point of Collection Testing

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Definition - What does Point of Collection Testing mean?

Point of collection testing is a drug-testing procedure that allows an individual to provide a urine or oral fluid specimen at (or near) the point of collection site pending negative or non-negative test results rather than within a laboratory setting. This type of testing uses customizable drug panels that can screen for a wide variety of substances including but not limited to the following: amphetamines, barbiturates, cocaine, marijuana, opiates, and phencyclidine.

SureHire explains Point of Collection Testing

Point of collection testing applies cutoff threshold range values against laboratory baseline findings. However, point of collection testing can pose challenges since these tests are limited to identifying the presence of drug metabolites within a requested drug panel matrix. In point of collection testing, a non-negative test result can occur when a urine specimen, for example, falls at or above the cutoff threshold range, suggesting recent drug use. While not as quick or convenient, lab-based testing such as gas-chromatography mass-spectrometry (GC/MS) helps isolate drug metabolites to override illegitimate factors such as secondhand inhalation before arriving at a positive test result. Also known as instant tests or express tests, point-of-collection test offer a quick and cost-effective way for employers to test their workforce.

There are limitations, though. Point of collection testing does not afford a warrantable cushion per the Canadian Model for Providing a Safe Workplace in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) mandate when appointing individuals to safety-sensitive positions where liability risks are involved.

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