What is an eCCF?

Q:

What is an eCCF?

A:

The term eCCF stands for "Electronic Custody and Control Form." It is the electronic version of the traditional five-part custody and control form.

A Custody and Control form is a document that tracks each step in the workplace drug testing process. It is used for drug test ordering, specimen collection, processing, and chain of custody records. The process begins with collection of the sample and finishes when the final drug test result is released.

There are five entities who each fill out a designated part of the CCF. They each complete their part of the document when the specimen reaches them as part of its drug testing journey. Each entity receives a copy of the document. The various entities involved are:

The Department of Transportation (DOT) approved the use of the electronic version (eCCF) of the custody control form on April 13th, 2015. They specified that the employer's laboratory must be approved through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) National Laboratory Certification Program before the eCCF can be used.

There is no new or different information required with the eCCF. The only difference is regarding the mechanism for collecting and transmitting the required information. Some of the benefits of the eCCF include:

  • The paperwork burden is reduced, since the need to scan or fax paper copies is eliminated. This also makes it a more cost-effective and time-efficient process.
  • Status and processing updates can be received more easily throughout the process.
  • Problems associated with illegible handwriting and errors are reduced. Additionally, missing information is much less likely because an online wizard will check for and alert to any missing information along the way. An online signature is also accepted on the eCCF and the whole process is very secure.
  • The specimen ID is the only identifying number that is needed with the eCCF, whereas the traditional CCF requires several numbers and barcodes. As these are not required for the eCCF the process becomes simpler and more straightforward.

A couple of points to consider upon adoption of the eCCF:

  • Take measures to ensure that confidential employee records are not made available to unauthorized persons
  • An employer who uses an eCCF must make sure that the collection site, laboratories and MRO have compatible systems

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Written by John Hawes
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John Hawes is the CCO and co-founder at SureHire Occupational Health Testing. John graduated in 2001 from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical therapy. As a former physical therapist, John uses his knowledge of physical therapy and interest in ergonomics and biomechanics to devise fit for work testing.

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