Medical Review Officer (MRO)
The Role of the Medical Review Officer (MRO)
The role of the Medical Review Officer is to review and interpret lab results obtained through the agency's testing program. An essential element of drug testing is a mechanism for a medical review of the results. That mechanism is the Medical Review Officer (MRO). The MRO's role is an important safeguard in the testing process. The MRO practice is a business specialty area that requires technical knowledge, professional judgment, interpersonal skills, and an understanding of both legal and economic issues.
The MRO is required to be a licensed physician responsible for receiving laboratory results generated by a drug testing program, who has knowledge of substance abuse disorders and has appropriate medical training to interpret and evaluate an individual's positive test result with his or her medical history and any other relevant biomedical information.
The MRO assures:
- respect for personal confidentiality and dignity of the donor
- maintenance of the confidentiality of medical information, except when public safety is jeopardized
- maintenance of high scientific and medical standards
Finally, it is anticipated that the role of the MRO will change with time. New drugs and patterns of substance abuse may emerge that mandate innovative approaches to the detection of substance abuse and establish new roles for MROs.