Huntsville Hospital Services


Drug Screens

What type of drug screen should our company require?

The drug screen we recommend typically depends on the reason the drug screen is being conducted. For pre-employment drug screens, we recommend a 10-panel rapid, which tests for the largest variety of drugs, including prescriptions. If the test results in a non-negative, it will be sent to the lab for confirmation and then reviewed by an MRO. If the drug screen is being done in response to a situation (i.e., accident, injury, random, for cause), we recommend performing a 10-panel, lab-certified test because it requires a chain of custody and a more regulated testing structure. If the test results may lead to the termination of an employee, a lab-certified test will be more reliable if it becomes a legal matter. We strongly recommend consulting your legal counsel when defining your company’s drug screen policy. Also, if your company is part of the Drug Free Workplace Program, you must use a lab-certified test.

How does our company quality for the Alabama Drug Free Workplace Program?

Please visit for information on how to become a drug-free workplace.

What is an MRO?

An MRO is a Medical Review Officer. All OHG physicians are MROs.

What lab do you use?

We use Quest Labs for all of our testing needs.

Are your clinics set up for eScreen?

Yes. We regularly provide drug screen collections for companies using an eScreen service.

What is the difference between a rapid drug screen and a send-off?

A rapid drug screen allows you to get most of the results back the same day. If the result is negative, we can contact you that day or early the following day. The employee will receive paperwork that he/she can bring to you directly. If the test is non-negative, we will send the sample off to a SAMSHA-Certified Lab for further testing. The result is then sent back to our physicians to review.

A “Send Off” is sent to the lab directly for processing, which can take several days. The results must be processed, reviewed, and our physicians must make good faith efforts by law to contact the employee in the case of a non-negative result. A lab-certified test is required for participants of the Drug Free Workplace Program.

Which is more accurate - a hair test or urine drug screen?

It depends on why you are testing the employee. A urine test is more applicable to get a snapshot of what the employee might have taken at that time. A hair test is more useful for a better view of the employee’s long-term habits.

What are the problems with doing our random drug screens in-house?

One of the biggest problems with doing random drug screens in-house is that the employees may feel the selection process is not as “random” as it is intended to be. Allowing a third party to conduct the random selection and administer the test, ensures the company continues to be viewed as fair and unbiased.

Should we require a drug screen after an accident?

Performing a drug screen after an accident, where no injuries occur, is strictly up to each company. Some company policies require a drug screen after any type of incident, whether it is a car crash or running a fork lift into a wall. If your company does not have a current policy in place, we recommend consulting with legal counsel to develop a protocol for drug screening after an accident.

Should we require a drug screen after an injury?

We recommend consulting with legal counsel to develop a protocol for drug screening after an injury.


Do all of your providers meet the newest requirements regarding DOT physicals and drug screening?

All of our providers, doctors and nurse practitioners, are Certified DOT Medical Examiners.


What is the difference in a lift test and a strength assessment test?

A Lift Test is a very basic test that determines if a patient is able to lift a certain amount of weight. A Strength Assessment Test is most often conducted for jobs with significant physical demands. We ask that a detailed job description be submitted for each position. A physical therapist should develop an appropriate physical test to assess the patient’s ability to perform the required tasks.

How are your clinics different from others in the area?

OHG clinics are unique because we only treat occupational health needs. This means that when you send your healthy employees in for a routine appointment, they will not be sitting with sick patients. Our Huntsville location now has a designated Testing Services Facility to ensure employees can be drug tested and back on the job in a timely manner. All of our physicians are also board certified and only practice occupational medicine. This certification ensures they are experts in the areas of ergonomics, OSHA standards, drug screening, discerning whether an injury is work related and even what type of duties an injured employee can perform while they are recovering.

Are your clinics set up for eScreen?

Yes. We regularly provide drug screen collections for companies using an eScreen service.

Does OHG offer after-hours services?

While we do not provide after-hours services at our clinics, patients may be seen for workers’ comp injuries at the Huntsville Hospital Emergency Department. Employees should either be accompanied by a supervisor or provide a Treatment Authorization Form to ER staff, identifying themselves as a workers’ comp injury. OHG works closely with our ER departments on a daily basis to follow up on any after-hours needs.

What types of injuries can your clinics treat?

Our clinics are extremely advanced and can treat most work-related injuries. We offer on-site X-rays and can perform services to repair lacerations and minor traumas. If needed, the physician may refer the patient to an appropriate specialist.

Can our company use any of your clinics?

Yes, you may use whichever clinic is the most convenient to you and your employees. Our database is linked throughout our system, so the information in one clinic is available at all clinics.

Do I need to make an appointment for my employee?

We do not make appointments for drug screens, workers’ comp cases or simple vaccinations (TB, flu, etc.); however, we do require an appointment for any type of physical or strength assessment test. If you have never used our clinic before, you should contact the clinic you will be sending your employee to in order to set up your company information in our database. View our clinic locations here

While it is not required, we do ask that you send your employee in for drug screening at least 2-3 hours before closing, when possible. For federally mandated screens, we are required to give the employee three hours to perform the test.

Workers' Comp

How do OHG physicians look out for the company's needs and the health needs of the patient at the same time?

The primary concern of our physicians is always the health and wellbeing of the patient. In many cases, maintaining a high standard of care can still be achieved without the use of prescription drugs and extensive time away from work. Our physicians know that employees want to get back to work and the employers want them back on the job. Through clear and constant communication, we work hard to make sure employees stay healthy and working.

When should we send a work comp injury to the clinic versus the Emergency Room?

In the case of a severed limb, a person who is unconscious or any injury that requires an ambulance, you would send the patient to the closest ER. Please note that if you use the Huntsville Hospital or Madison Hospital ER, OHG will have access to those patient records for follow-up visits if necessary. Please be sure the ER staff knows to treat the case as a worker's comp injury.