Tox +

Screening Vs Confirmation Testing


Patients Choice Laboratories™ (PCL) in Indianapolis, IN provides confirmatory drug testing with Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS), the gold standard in clinical toxicology drug testing. LC-MS provides highly sensitive and precise testing to confirm positive results from toxicology drug screening with immunoassays or in-clinic dipstick screens. This service helps healthcare professionals provide you, as the patient, unbiased, third party support to ensure you are benefiting as much as possible from your prescribed medications.

Confirmatory drug testing provides additional information to supplement screening results. Screening tests detect drug families, but don’t differentiate between specific drugs. For example, a sample may be positive on a screening test for opiates, but it cannot tell you if the drug present is morphine, hydrocodone, or any other narcotic. Confirmatory testing provides confirmation of positive samples and identifies the specific drug(s) present.

Ascent Software

One lab. One quality standard.

Today’s analytical production laboratory is often characterized by two things:

  • a vibrant and diverse team of individuals,
  • running on a limited (or even singular) platform of mass spectrometry instrumentation with a dedicated data system.

In reviewing the laboratory landscape, our guiding principles were: “what are the strengths of such an approach, and what are the opportunities for improvement?”

Automated rules for more consistent results.

A broad base of users creates a dynamic environment for problem solving and enriches the working culture.  However, when it comes to producing defensible results in a highly regulated climate, the overall system can be improved by taking advantage of software automation.  ASCENT’s customizable quality rule system takes the perspective of your most sophisticated and experienced operators and makes it available to each and every employee.  All data are consistently reviewed for quality in exactly the same manner – the manner which has been customized to meet your laboratory’s specific quality policies and SOP.

Vendor-neutral capability so you can choose the instrument that’s the best fit.

Instrumentation inventory from a single vendor can provide commonality advantages in ease of operation and maintenance.  However, when it comes to versatility and flexibility, there can be real benefits to utilizing instrumentation from multiple vendors, e.g. instruments with different ion source designs, which may work better for certain classes of compounds.  What has prevented some labs from taking advantage of these competitive capabilities has been the instrument data system – learning a different data system for each different instrument presents a barrier to productivity.  ASCENT’s vendor-neutral capability means that you are now free to choose the brand and model of instrument that is scientifically and economically the best choice for your lab. All of the processing, reviewing and reporting functions will be identical across your entire laboratory, building upon the quality system described above.

ASCENT’s peak processing and other core elements means that instruments of the same – or in many cases, merely similar – manufacture can utilize a single method. Using a single, robust method across multiple systems dramatically reduces the amount of method modification that has been necessary in the past to address operational differences or instrument fatigue. Imagine maintaining all of your analytical methods and managing all of your analytical data with a single, streamlined system.

PCL provides quality, accurate confirmatory testing for a number of physicians and other health care professionals, including:

Cardiac Clinics

Substance Abuse & Addiction Centers

Private Doctor's offices & clinics

Pain Management Clinics

Mental Health Clinics

For more information about PCL’s confirmatory testing, please contact a PCL Client Services Representative at