What to Expect at a Drug Test Collection

by Pablo Bolanos on July 21, 2017

Your shirt is pressed, your haircut is fresh, and you’ve rehearsed all possible scenarios for this interview as your hopeful journey for a new employment opportunity begins. Thankfully, the state of today’s economy may work in your favor, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 90% of states are currently experiencing stable to improving unemployment rates.

Once the interview process wraps up, a job candidate may receive a request from their employer to complete a drug test. Companies throughout the world implement drug testing programs because statistics show substance abuse can compromise the integrity and productivity of the workplace. “A drug-free workplace program is a safety program for employees as well as a company’s pledge to protect its customers and assets,” said Lisa Ruehle, Compliance Specialist at Quest Diagnostics.

The majority of drug tests take place at facilities known as collection sites. To ensure that donors receive a consistent, high-quality experience, collectors are trained to follow standardized processes at every location as a way to help control the integrity of the specimens and the drug test results. These rigorous protocols can sometimes take donors by surprise.

For that reason, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) published 10 helpful steps for collection site security and integrity. Once an employer sends their donor to a collection site to have a drug test collection performed, both parties involved—the collection site and the donor—should have reasonable expectations of what will take place in order to complete a successful drug test collection.

Although the following steps walk a collector through he specimen collection process, employees (also referred to as donors) should take notice of each detailed instruction:

  1. Pay careful attention to employees throughout the collection process.
  2. Ensure that there is no unauthorized access into the collection areas and that undetected access (e.g., through a door not in view) is not possible.
  3. Make sure that employees show proper picture ID.
  4. Make sure employees empty pockets; remove outer garments (e.g., coveralls, jacket, coat, and hat); leave briefcases, purses, and bags behind; and wash their hands.
  5. Maintain personal control of the specimen and Custody and Control form (CCF) at all times during the collection.
  6. Secure any water sources or otherwise make them unavailable to employees (e.g., turn off water inlet, tape handles to prevent opening faucets, secure tank lids).
  7. Ensure that the water in the toilet and tank (if applicable) has bluing (coloring) agent in it. Tape or otherwise secure shut any movable toilet tank top, or put bluing in the tank.
  8. Ensure that no soap, disinfectants, cleaning agents, or other possible adulterants are present.
  9. Inspect the site to ensure that no foreign or unauthorized substances are present.
  10. Secure areas and items (e.g., ledges, trash receptacles, paper towel holders, under-sink areas, ceiling tiles) that appear suitable for concealing contaminants.

These 10 steps are applicable to all urine drug test collections handled by a collection site and are readily available at for reference by both employees(donors) and collectors. However, it is important to note that oral fluid specimens can be collected at an employee’s place of employment. In that scenario, the collection procedures may vary slightly from the DOT’s steps. For detailed instructions to collect an Oral-Eze® oral fluid sample, visit our website.

You drive home, empty your pockets, and reflect on this career opportunity. Will you get an offer for the position? Will your future change or will your job search continue? Did you earn a chance for a new start? What is certain is that employers see the benefits of drug testing and the importance of a drug-free workforce.

Download the DOT’s Top 10 Steps to Collection Site Security and Integrity as a reference for expectations during the drug test collection process.

For more information about drug testing, visit our website or contact us online.

New Collection Site Locator – Coming Soon

by Pablo Bolanos on May 26, 2017

As the world’s leading provider of diagnostic testing, information, and services, we empower people to take action to improve health outcomes. This journey often starts with a specimen collection. Whether the visit is for a wellness screening, a glucose tolerance test, or a drug screen, locating the right collection site is a critical step in the process.

While our existing online collection site locator and appointment scheduler is used thousands of times each day by our clients and donors, we saw an opportunity to redesign and improve this resource to better meet the needs of our users. We’re excited about the upcoming changes and want to share with you some of the highlights:

  • Mobile functionality, providing access on all of your devices is the single biggest feature of our new beta:
  • Real-time analytics of current wait times
  • Live infographics detailing average wait times throughout the day
  • Detailed parking information
  • Improved geo-mapping for accurate location services and directions

In addition, the new locator will look, act, and function more intuitively. Stay tuned to our blog for more tips and previews of our new collection site locator which is set to launch this summer.

To learn more about our collection network, visit our website or contact us online.

Drug Test Collections When You Need Them

March 31, 2017Collections

Every accident is different, as are the causes behind them. And while the environment, human error, and equipment failures are frequent causes, all too often we also see the use of alcohol and drugs playing an influential role. According to the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™, the percentage of employees in the combined U.S. workforce […]

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Ask the Experts: Drug Test Collection Quality

September 30, 2016Collections

Question: With thousands of collectors across the U.S., how does Quest Diagnostics help ensure the quality of each drug test collection? As one of the first steps in the drug testing process, collections help build the foundation that enables our laboratories to operate as efficiently as they do. As such, it is imperative that we […]

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By the Numbers: 24/7 Emergency Collections

September 29, 2016Collections

Our By the Numbers blog series takes a closer look at the numbers, facts, data, and outputs that impact workplace drug testing programs. In this post, we look at the numerical values that enable our 24/7 emergency collections to operate as efficiently as they do. While our nationwide network of more than 8,000 collection sites […]

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Ask the Experts: Drug Test Collection Site Options

July 26, 2016Collections

Question: With three types of drug test collection sites and thousands of locations, how do employers know which location best meets their needs? Our drug test collection site network consists of more than 8,000 locations across the U.S. This vast geographical coverage helps provide a convenient experience for our employer customers and their donors. That […]

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Stretch Your Dollar with On-Site Collections

March 24, 2016Collections

According to the U.S Department of Labor, drug use costs employers billions of dollars annually in lost productivity and healthcare expenditures. As a result, many employers choose to invest in drug testing programs in an effort to reduce their costs and yield a positive return on investment (ROI). The best drug testing programs are not […]

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Collection Sites Outfitted for eCCF

February 5, 2016Collections

As we ramp up for the new Federal electronic Custody and Control Form (eCCF), developments and initiatives across our organization are nearly complete. After decades of using the traditional paper Custody and Control Form for drug testing ordering, specimen collection processing and chain of custody documentation for workplace drug testing, our collection sites are ready to use eCCF for […]

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Drug Test Collections Webinar Highlights

November 3, 2015Collections

Collections are a critical piece of the drug testing process and understanding your choices is important as you select a drug testing provider. Charlie Sullivan, Collection Services Manager at Quest Diagnostics, recently presented a webinar where he shared insights to help you better evaluate your collection services options as you work to select the best […]

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Webinar: Evaluating your Drug Test Collection Options

October 2, 2015Collections

With more than 8,000 collection sites, how do I know which location best meets my needs and is the most convenient for my donors? What are my alternatives if sending a donor to a collection site is not feasible? How do collection sites ensure consistency and quality? Collections are a critical piece of the drug […]

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