instrumented drug screening

eScreen® Instrumented
Drug Screening

Applicant Information has partnered with Alere eScreen® to provide access to over 5,000 collection centers in North America. Our network utilizes occupational medicine centers to provide both regulated and non-regulated drug testing services to employers and organizations across North America.

How traditional lab-based solutions work

Laboratory-based testing on a gas spectrometer has been the industry standard for both non-regulated and regulated testing since the introduction of drug testing in the 1970s. Regulated testing refers to testing required by government mandate, typically for workers in the transportation field, such as truck drivers, pilots, and train engineers. Non-regulated testing is used for screening the bulk of the workforce, such as those in sales, finance, or food preparation and delivery.

Traditional lab-based drug testing starts with obtaining a urine sample at a collection site local to the job applicant. The applicant’s sample container is sealed with a serialized tracking label, then is checked for valid temperature range. The next step is for the sample to be packaged for shipment to the specified laboratory. Samples are normally transported via commercial overnight delivery services. Shipping services typically have a last pickup time somewhere around 4:00 p.m. local time. If a job applicant’s sample is collected after the shipping deadline, the sample will not be shipped until the next business day. Once the sample reaches the laboratory, the sample is queued to be tested on the as spectrometer.

Why use the eScreen® eCup versus traditional lab-based solutions

eScreen was founded on the realization that 94 out of 100 test samples end in a negative result (no drug use indicated). Rather than incur the time and expense of airfreighting urine to laboratories around the United States, eScreen introduced a patented method for performing an automated screening at the collection site. The eCup® is the basis for eScreen’s non-regulated substance abuse testing solution. The eCup can test for current or past use of Amphetamines, Cocaine, Marijuana, Opiates (such as heroin & opium), and PCP to SAMHSA 5 cutoff levels.

When a job applicant arrives for a scheduled collection, the donor’s identity is positively matched against information previously entered by the prospective employer. The job applicant provides a sample into a serialized container with a patented in-cup testing mechanism. The sample container is loaded into an eReader®, which records the sample temperature and tests for adulterants (added substances meant to disguise indications of drug use). In addition, the eReader captures a photographic image of the serialized sealing strip. After about 5 minutes, the eReader electronically records the results of the built-in testing mechanism. If there is no indication of drug use, the negative result is recorded, and the result is electronically communicated to the employer within 15 minutes.

Suspect samples (referred to as non-negative samples) are sent to a laboratory for a second test on a gas spectrometer. Any negative results from the laboratory testing are reported to the employer electronically. Any confirmed positive results are reported to a Medical Review Officer who attempts to contact the donor to review any possible medical conditions that could have caused the result. The MRO will issue a ruling based on the information obtained from the donor.

eScreen comparison to traditional laboratory testing

eScreen eCup systemTraditional
Online scheduling of drug test:YESdepends on collection location
Negative results returned in:15 minutes1–5 calendar days
Percentage of samples flown to laboratory:4–6% on average100%
Results provided after normal business hours:YESnot typically
Results provided on weekends:YESnot typically
Online tracking of sample’s status:YESnot typically
Medical Review Officer services included:YESdepends on provider