Saskatchewan’s only DATIA Certified Drug Testing company
At Innovative Training Solutions we provide a comprehensive range of occupational health and safety services and specialize in Drug and Alcohol Testing Services. ITS is Saskatchewan’s only DATIA Certified Drug Testing company and provides a variety of testing services in eighteen communities including DOT and HHS testing services. ITS also provides additional related services including:
• Professional Collector Training Programs
• Consultation for the development of drug and alcohol programs/ assistance with the implementation of cost effective drug and alcohol testing programs
• Drug Dog Detection Services
• Aftercare Programs
• Employer and Supervisor Training Programs
• Reasonable Suspicion Training Programs
• EAP Services for Drug and Alcohol Testing Donors
Seventeen collection sites in Saskatchewan with thirteen of those collection sites located in Northern Saskatchewan.
At ITS we are experienced in collecting employment and non-employment related testing. We currently complete court ordered testing as well as we are piloting a pro-bono service to Addiction Services in our head office’s local community to provide testing services for high risk youth. Other companies in the province of Saskatchewan currently run employment testing models based on the Department of Transport Testing Procedures. At ITS we practice both DOT model testing as well as HHS testing(Health and Human Services). ITS utilizes best practice testing policies and procedures implemented by the Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association. We are Saskatchewan’s only DATIA Accredited Testing Facility and only one of six DATIA accredited facilities in Canada. All of our collectors and staff are DATIA accredited collectors trained in both DOT and HHS protocols for testing.
There are essentially three types of testing that can be utilised for forensic testing:
• Oral Fluid (indicates use 14-72 hrs)
• Urine Testing (indicates use 7-31 days)
• Hair Follicle (indicates use up to 90 days)
DRUG AND ALCOHOL TESTING
All testing types have strengths and weaknesses. Urine testing is the most traditionally used method of drug and alcohol testing. Many feel this is an intrusive method to obtain a forensic test result but it remains the most readily utilised testing process used in both employment and forensic based testing. Urine testing is also the most accurate and cost effective method of testing currently available. There are two types of tests that can be completed:
• Point of Collection Test- The urine is collected and tested on site and provides a negative or a non-negative test result. This is a simple qualitative test result that does not provide a quantitative result of how much of the drug is in the donor’s system. The Urine Specimen in collected on site and tested with a HHS/DOT approved product. The result is determined immediately and can be provided to the necessary party the same day as a qualitative (pass/fail result).
• Lab Based Testing- A minimum amount of 60 ml of urine is collected from the donor and forwarded to a lab testing facility to be analysed for a quantitative test result to verify if there are any illicit drugs in the donor’s system.
Oral Fluid Testing
The use of oral testing products is becoming increasingly popular because it is perceived by donors as the least invasive means to obtain a specimen. DATIA completed a random survey of Donors in the US in 2011 asking as a donor, would you prefer to provide an oral fluid or a urine specimen? Donors regularly reported that providing an oral fluid specimen is less invasive and more convenient than providing a urine specimen. (Please note that collection utilising oral fluid devices have been proposed by DOT, DATIA as well as SAMSHA to HHS in 2011 but has not been accepted as a testing method at this time). Please note that there are no FDA approved oral testing products available at this time. ITS customers that utilise oral fluid testing and report good results but all continue to use urine lab kits as a backup for confirmation. Although the oral fluid testing devices and technology has improved greatly in recent years they continue to be problematic and do not prove to be dependable or consistent as their urine based testing counterpart.
• Point of Collection Testing- Oral fluid specimens use a collection device (e.g. swab) that is coupled with a buffer preservative solution for stabilization and transport to the laboratory if necessary.
• Lab Based Testing- Oral fluid split specimens should be obtained either bilaterally (one swab, simultaneously, on each side of the mouth) or sequentially. If sequential collections are performed, the second collection should be done within 2 minutes of the first collection. Lab costs for confirmation on an oral based fluid test are approximately $30-40 dollars per panel tested. (Lab results for a 5 panel screen can run anywhere from $150 to $200 per collection)
Hair Follicle Testing
• The use of hair follicle testing is growing in popularity because of the test’s ability to determine levels of drugs and alcohol for a period of up to 90 days. One of the major disadvantages of hair follicle testing is the cost and the length of time to get test results. Hair follicle testing is commonly used for pre-employment testing because it provides a longer window of time to track drug use in the donor’s system. However there is no way to complete a POCT (Point of Collection Test) and the cost is almost four times the cost of a lab based urine test. Please note that there are no FDA approved hair follicle testing products available at this time.
Procedures for Testing
DATIA and the Department of Transportation (DOT) cite the most costly aspects of drug testing are the high incidence of rejected specimens due to errors by collectors at collection sites. DATIA and DOT recommend the use of Accredited Collection Facilities with Certified Professional Collectors to reduce the number of errors and rejected specimens therefore saving everyone time and resources.
At ITS we have developed a DATIA approved procedure for collecting both oral fluid and urine specimens. Each individual is trained to follow an eighteen step process from the beginning to end of the collection to ensure that each individual collection is completed in the same standardized process. Each step for the procedure is verbally reviewed with the individual and once the test is completed the donor and the collector sign and date the collection record to concur that the collection was completed as per ITS policies. This eliminates any question that the collection may have been compromised or not completed correctly. Since the implementation of this policy at ITS the company has a margin of error of less than 1%. ITS has not had a fatal flaw resulting in the cancellation of test since the implementation of this procedure eighteen months ago.