September 12, 2022

Need That Test Result Yesterday!

By Guest Contributer

How can we help?

by Katie Lemke, consultant at Working Partners®

Still using paper custody and control forms (CCFs) but frustrated with delays or not knowing where your test is in the process? Why not give an electronic custody and control form (eCCF) a try?

We know drug testing is a necessary part of your drug-free workplace program. But let’s face it, it’s not always a quick process. The eCCF is an electronic version of the traditional paper form used to order, collect, and route a workplace drug test. Similar to paper, it provides documentation through the entire process that the specimen was handled properly. But using this electronic form can improve your drug testing process and make collections and results reporting faster and more efficient.

Here are five benefits of switching from paper to electronic forms:

  1. Order tests online. Once you’ve notified an applicant or employee that they need to be tested, you can order the test online and either send the form directly to your collection facility or email it to the applicant or employee, including the details on where to go for the test.

  2. Track the status of each test. Since the form is ordered through your drug testing vendor’s web portal, all the necessary information is already in the system and can easily be tracked. For instance, you can see when the specimen is collected at the collection facility, arrives at the lab and is being reviewed by the medical review officer (MRO). This tracking feature is not available with paper forms, even if you utilize an online portal.

  3. Get results faster. Since the necessary information is already in the system and does not require manual entry, unlike with paper forms, the time it takes your vendor to enter the test results is reduced. Quest Diagnostics, the drug testing lab many of you use, recently reported that companies using an electronic custody and control form got their test results 7.5 or more hours sooner than those using traditional paper forms. That’s a whole business day!

  4. Reduce delays and fatal flaws. The MRO can easily access necessary information, eliminating the need to follow up with the collection site for a copy of the paper CCF. Additionally, the electronic system has safeguards that stop the process if required fields on the form haven’t been entered, like checking the temperature box or signing the forms. With paper forms, this missing data can cause delays in getting results while the MRO tracks down the information or potentially cancels the test.

  5. Eliminate ordering and storing forms. This electronic process eliminates the hassle of ordering and storing paper forms and having to physically hand off a copy of the paper form to the employee (especially to employees working off-site). Plus, any updates to the form occur automatically.

Change can be tough, especially regarding a familiar process or the initial time it takes to learn something new. However, the benefits of switching will likely make it worthwhile – plus, there’s no additional cost to you.


Working Partners®, is a training and consulting firm specializing in helping workplaces minimize the risks associated with substance misuse. A modified version of this article was originally published in Working Partners® newsletter, Wayfinder.”