Blog – Marlin: Electronic Drug Test Forms

Workman holding tablet computer


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AusHealth Work has now largely implemented the digital system used to collect and record data during drug and alcohol testing at workplaces. Marlin replaces our paper-based data system. This offers significant benefits to clients, both at the point of sample collection and testing and in improving accessibility of test results.

With onsite testing, the electronic system is faster and designed to eliminate data recording errors that may occur with paper forms. It requires consistent entries and does not allow the Collector to finalise a test without all data fields being completed. This means data are accurate and dependable, and summary (service) reports will be available to clients immediately after each testing session.

Following on-site testing, any specimens that are sent for laboratory confirmation testing will also be collated into the data system in a form compatible with the data gathered using Marlin. This means we can see direct and immediate correspondence between on-site test results and confirmation results. This will allow quicker reporting of confirmation data and an opportunity for a greater depth of analysis of data to be undertaken. That is, we will be able to report annual summary data and provide details about the rates of on-site non-negative test results, those that were ultimately confirmed as positive (due to either medication or illicit drug use), or confirmed as negative (due to being below reporting thresholds). This will also allow analytical tools to be applied to determine trends, to establish whether declared medications interact or influence on-site test results (our cross reactivity assessment), and whether specimen integrity test results reveal more or fewer dilute specimens requiring retesting.

Further analysis will allow comparisons both within and between industry sectors, will allow time trends over month-by-month and annual periods, and will demonstrate whether drug and alcohol testing policies and procedures reduce the incidence of drug detections. Further investigations may allow correlations with workplace health and safety data to determine whether reduced absenteeism, workplace incidents and accidents and other events are associated with improved drug and alcohol surveillance.

All in all, this development promises to improve our understanding of workplace drug and alcohol issues and will help inform business decisions in this space.

Boilerplate John