Once the absorbent pad reaches the laboratory, it will have a screening test performed. If the screening test results in a presumptive positive, a confirmation test, using Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) will be performed. Results are then certified through a quality assurance review process before being reported out.
SCREENING: The drugs in the pad are extracted into a combination aqueous/organic liquid. An automated pipetting platform pipettes the sample onto a 96-well analytical plate with similarly pipetted calibrators and controls. Following completion of the testing, the data is reviewed by the bench technologist for acceptability, the positive samples are identified, and forwarded to the certification group. If all tests are negative, the certifying official will release the test results to the client. If the sample tests positive for one or more drugs, the sample is transferred to the confirmation laboratory for a LC/MS/MS test.
CONFIRMATION: A laboratory extractionist processes the sample for LC/MS/MS through a series of steps to identify the drug of interest before analysis. The LC/MS/MS generates a printout for data review of every calibrator, control, or sample tested. A review is performed at the bench level for acceptance before sending the data to the certification department.
CERTIFICATION: The certifying scientist reviews the screening and confirmation testing results prior to their release and a quality assurance review of the final test result is performed. If any discrepancy is noted, the sample will be sent back for retesting.