Administrative Update  |   December 2016
Let’s Start the Conversation
Author Affiliations
  • Ronald L. Harter, M.D.
    ASA House of Delegates
    Speaker
Article Information
Ethics / Medicolegal Issues / Infectious Disease / Patient Safety / Administrative Update
Administrative Update   |   December 2016
Let’s Start the Conversation
ASA Monitor 12 2016, Vol.80, 6-7.
ASA Monitor 12 2016, Vol.80, 6-7.
Weapons testing engineers, oil refinery employees and insurance agents; what do applicants to those positions have in common? They must agree to random drug testing as a condition of employment. What about truck drivers, forklift operators, trash collectors and supermarket employees? They also must agree to random drug testing. In fact, in a recent search of job postings on www.indeed.com, more than 7,000 positions across the nation list random drug testing as a condition of employment.
To be fair, the list above doesn’t mean that every job within those industries requires drug testing. However, drug testing is clearly becoming common practice in more and more positions with varying levels of responsibility and accountability. Yet in a medical specialty in which we daily hold the lives of patients in our hands, random drug testing is the exception, not the rule. Certainly many departments require initial testing as a condition of employment, and some form of “for cause” testing is commonplace. The focus of this discussion is on the programmatic, random drug testing of personnel, such that all providers in a department with access to controlled substances will be subjected to periodic testing.
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