Quality Assurance

Set of practices undertaken by an organization which ensures the consistency and premium quality of their product is referred to as Quality Assurance (QA). This chapter will discuss the urine drug testing program in light of the pivotal practices necessary to maintain high-quality. Beginning before the collection of urine, the process continues through the actions carried out by the employer based on the testing results. However, as laboratory testing is a subject to several complexions, QA of the laboratory will be a major focus of this chapter.

Following the Executive Order 12584 the federally mandated urine drug-testing program commenced in 1986. Punitive results from the usage of prohibited drugs to the employees turned the program into a forensic operation. One impact is that now the regulatory agencies oversee the QA processes. These regulations and their requirements for component organizations and laboratories would be discussed as reference in this chapter. Generally, the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website provides the requirements for the federal agencies.  The Department of Transportation (DOT) supports most of the employees subject to the SAMHSA rules. Furthermore, the 49 Combined Federal Regulation, Part 40 and DOT’s website illustrates the additional, comprehensive requirements imposed by DOT. It is important to know that these regulations are implied only on federal employers; however, the desire to ensure premium quality drug-testing programs has driven many unregulated industries to implement practices that are analogous to the regulations.

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