As the DOT considers the implementation of the electronic Chain of Custody Form (eCCF) and the non-regulated industry continues to expand the use of eCCF, it is important to evaluate the pros and cons and the impact of its use in your drug-testing program.
Electronic chain of custody offers many benefits to employers:
- Online scheduling of drug tests
- Ability for the donor or the company representative to enter the required identifying information prior to arrival at the collection site
- Less data entry errors resulting in lost or mismatched specimens
- The ability to track specimens from offer through reporting
- Less administrative costs locating paper chain of custody forms, ordering and storing forms
- Managing multiple accounts without the hassle of juggling multiple sets of paper chains
- Avoiding the cost of shipping paper chains to candidates and employees
The list of benefits is long and as the Department of Transportation gets closer to allowing electronic chain of custody for regulated employees, it is important to understand the impact it will have on your drug and alcohol testing program before you being implementation.
What to expect…
First, expect some resistance from the field.
Recruiters, hiring managers, and supervisors who opt to fill out the form will need to collect and enter all of the required information from the donor and may argue that the time it takes to fill out the form online is longer than handing out a paper chain of custody. On average, it takes less than two minutes to fill out the required information on an electronic chain.
This time needs to be weighed against the time-saving benefits gained by eliminating the search for paperwork, locating missing or mismatched records, collection sites using another company’s paper chain, supply ordering and filing. Often companies solve this issue by sending the link to the eCCF to the donor, allowing him/her to fill in most of the required information. This saves time for the manager and provides a seamless candidate experience. It has the added benefit of allowing the donor to identify collection sites close to home, school, or their current employer, making the process convenient and easy. Ease in hiring and collecting often results in faster hiring and turnaround of drug test results.
Second, as you roll out eCCF in your workplace, remember that some of the benefits require re-processing of some of your current operating procedures. Allow time to train your team on the process and be certain to provide a demonstration from the perspective of the donor. Understanding the donor experience is critical. Review the “what-ifs” and create a process for handling them. How will you handle a candidate without internet access? Without computer savvy? Who states he/she didn’t get the link? Who arrives at the wrong collection site? Anomalies and exceptions will not increase, but they will be different and being prepared in advance of the roll-out will be important to your overall success.
For nearly three decades, our expertise is DOT/FAA Compliance. NATA Compliance Services serves as a Third Party Administrator dedicated to the Aviation Industry.
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