The Problem with Viewed Urine Collection—and How to Solve it with vTOX® DNA Verification

a doctor in a white coat and blue gloves holds a plastic can of urine in his hand. urine tests for virus, alcohol, pregnancy, drugs, and diseases

Viewed urine collection is embarrassing, time-consuming, staff-intensive, but also necessary—until now. Valley Medical Laboratory’s new vTOX® process uses DNA technology to verify urine samples and eliminate the need for viewed urine collection.

Why Viewed Urine Collection is Necessary

Most addiction treatment centers and providers require patients to undergo regular toxicology testing to ensure they adhere to their treatment plans. This tox testing checks the patient’s urine for the presence of both prescribed medications and unwanted substances.

Unfortunately, some patients seek to cheat the system, especially if they know they’ve been using substances they shouldn’t have. Some patients will try to substitute someone else’s clean urine for their own; others will try to use synthetic urine. If the patient is successful in this deceit, treatment centers and providers will receive misleading results that could negatively impact the patient’s prognosis and treatment.

To reduce the risk of urine tampering, facilities typically require viewed or observed urine collection, where a staff member physically observes the patient while they provide the urine sample. By viewing the actual urine collection, it is more difficult for the patient to substitute another urine sample for their own.

Why Everybody Hates Viewed Urine Collection

Even though it is necessary, viewed urine collection is universally despised by both patients and staff. Patients don’t like to be watched when they urinate and those with “shy bladder syndrome” may find it difficult or impossible to urinate when under observation. LGBTQ patients, in particular, may find it troubling to be watched by someone of the same or different gender identity when urinating.

Viewed urine collection is also embarrassing for staffers who have to do the viewing; no one wants to watch someone else urinate. Viewed urine collection takes staff away from other more impactful duties and requires the presence of both male and female staffers to view patients of both genders. In addition, the intimacy of viewed urine collection sometimes results in staffers bonding with the patients they’re watching, which can result in unwelcome familiarity between staff and patients.

Despite these reservations, viewed urine collection has long been necessary to guard against urine tampering—which led the toxicology testing experts at Valley Medical Laboratory to seek a solution.

Contact us to learn more about vTOX® DNA-verified urine testing

    How vTOX® Eliminates the Need for Viewed Urine Collection

    To solve the problem of viewed urine collection, the laboratory technicians at Valley Medical Laboratory turned to DNA technology. They reasoned that if they could match the DNA in a patient’s urine with DNA information already on file, they could verify that urine sample without someone having to view the collection.

    This realization led Valley Medical to develop vTOX® DNA-verified urine collectionvTOX® uses DNA previously collected from a patient to verify the DNA in that patient’s urine sample.

    The vTOX® process begins with a simple cheek swab of the patient to obtain a sample of genetic material. The Valley Medical lab extracts key DNA information from the sample, analyzing it for the size and presence of 12 specific genetic markers. We then store this information in our system for future use.

    On the patient’s next and each subsequent urine test, our lab analyzes the DNA from the patient’s urine for those 12 genetic markers. If the markers match the DNA information stored in our system for that patient, the urine is verified as being from the patient in question. If the markers do not match the stored DNA information, that means the urine is not from that patient—and the patient is trying to trick the system.

    Because urine samples can now be validated in the lab using DNA technology, there is no longer a need for viewed urine collection. Patients can provide their samples in private and staff need no longer be bothered by observing the process. Urine collection is faster, less staff-intensive, and more LGBTQ-friendly. Both patients and staff benefit.

    vTOX® DNA-Verified Urine Collection is Exclusive to Valley Medical Laboratory

    The vTOX® process is exclusive to Valley Medical Laboratory, our treatment center partners, and our sister Valley Medical and Wellness clinics. Our partners confirm that vTOX® makes their jobs easier while ensuring the validity of all test results.

    The standard toxicology testing we offer our treatment center partners includes vTOX® verification at no extra charge. Valley Medical Laboratory uses advanced LC-MS/MS technology to accurately identify and quantify more than 50 common drugs and metabolites to help treatment centers and providers make more informed treatment decisions. Test results are typically available within 36 hours of receipt in our laboratory, verified via each patient’s DNA.

    Eliminate Viewed Urine Collection Today with vTOX® from Valley Medical Laboratory

    If you want to eliminate the need for viewed urine collection, contact the toxicology testing experts at Valley Medical Laboratory. We’ll work hand-in-hand with your facility to provide the fast and convenient UDT services you need—confirmed by vTOX® DNA-verified testing.