Businesses do not have the time to keep up with all the regulations, so they depend on Colleen’s drug testing companies to keep them compliant. “We become a deep resource for them in the drug testing field,” Colleen explains. “When they get audited, they become so grateful we have provided them with all the test results and reports they need. It would be unusual for a company to get in trouble when they follow our recommendations for testing procedures and recordkeeping.”
Colleen’s main job is to keep up on all the regulations, share that information with her clients and help them stay in compliance. That becomes a difficult task sometimes, since every state has their own laws, in addition to the Federal laws. “It is easier to keep up on the Federal laws, but the state laws are a challenge,” Colleen states. “If you do drug testing in both Montana and Oregon, the laws of the two states are very different. Our job is to know the differences and help our clients as they affect them.”
Colleen was working for a physician when a patient asked if they knew anyone who would be doing drug and alcohol testing, since the government was initiating mandated drug testing. (The law requiring regulated drug and alcohol testing was passed on September 15, 1986, and DOT implemented their requirements in 1989.) Colleen talked with her husband, quit her job and started Wienhoff Drug Testing.
Drug testing for a company’s employees is important for safety of employees in the workplace and the community. As Colleen puts it, “None of us want to drive next to someone who is on drugs and no employer wants a wrongful death suit because a drug-affected employee was unsafe at work.”
The best part of the job for Colleen is educating clients and assisting them to become compliant with the regulations. “Compliance is part of our integrity,” Colleen insisted. “I want people to understand that we are compliance-driven and we follow the rules by the book. We don’t take payoffs to change something or shorten the process to save time.” Getting in compliance keeps companies out of trouble with the government and saves them money when fines, lawsuits and lost employee work time are avoided.
Regulations change frequently so Colleen’s companies offer compliance training frequently. They notify their clients of changes by e-mails, newsletters and trainings. “I love to teach the training classes,” Colleen shared. “I like to help other people start out in a business, so being a mentor to new companies is important to me. My heartbeat is to teach them what I know.”
Colleen is compliance-driven, knowledgeable and has a deep desire to help clients avoid problems caused by drug and alcohol abuse. Colleen is well educated in her field:
- Breath Alcohol Technician (BAT) Master Trainer
- Certified Professional Collector (CPC)
- CPR – First Aid Instructor Trainer
- Designated Employer Representative (DER) Trainer
- Expert Witness for the court system
Colleen is a Supervisor Trainer and some of her courses train on how employees try to beat the test.
Some employers tell Colleen they are not going to worry drug testing until they get caught, but Colleen asks whether they would rather pay $50 now or thousands of dollars later.
Why does Colleen do what she does? A performer at her birthday party, whom Colleen had not met before, gave her the best present when he told her: “You have no idea how you helped my family. Some of my family members have come in here for drug testing. Because of the tests, they cleaned up and it has changed their lives.” As he hugged her, Colleen knew he meant every word he said. Moments like that make all the effort she puts out worthwhile.
As Colleen puts it, “We have young people who come in and test positive. Sometimes we have the opportunity to tell them, ‘Everybody makes bad choices in their life, but it’s what you learn from it that counts. Did you learn something from this experience?’ We want them to understand that it’s OK to make a mistake. I tell them they can correct it now or keep going down that path. I hope they make the right choice.’” Colleen has a passion to see people get off of drugs. “The sad part for me is when I see people who do not want the help.”
Not every drug testing company follows all the steps of the law. “I have seen some of my competitors go out of business because they finally got caught breaking the law,” Colleen explained. “We have determined to always do it right and not worry about what other testing companies do. Doing it right has become a nonnegotiable item for us. It’s an integrity issue. It’s the way we do things in my companies.”
Colleen promotes a team atmosphere by picking good people, hiring good managers and giving praise when praise is due. “I love to give small gifts and encourage others to keep doing a good job and even do a better job. I write notes to tell people they’re doing a good job.”
“Our companies have an advantage over other drug testing services, because of our integrity, our compliance-driven mindset, our friendliness, and how we keep up-to-date on the latest trends and drugs.”
As technology in the drug testing field moves forward, her companies are there to embrace it. “We expect that in 2015 the industry will be approved to do paperless record-keeping. In our industry, this will make a huge difference. Our field collectors will be able to use iPads and transmit data directly to the laboratories and MRO’s.” Handwriting is a real challenge in the drug testing industry, so electronic input and transmission will help a lot.
“As a Master Trainer,” Colleen illustrated, “I have seen the size and capability of breathalyzers change significantly for the better over the years. A breathalyzer for marijuana should be available to the industry soon and we are looking forward to learning more about them.”
Mobile services are offered by several of Colleen’s companies, which make collections faster and simpler for clients. Roughly 40% of collections are made through their mobile services (in Boise and Salem).
It is important to provide a good environment for those being tested. Facilities are clean and service is professional, friendly and knowledgeable. Attitude by the staff is also important. “I often hear from people that they have gone to our competitors,” Colleen mentioned, “and they say they feel like they’re guilty before they even take the test. Here we are very careful not to judge. Our staff provides people with excellent, friendly customer service and accurate information.
The quicker a testing company can get test results back, the faster an employer can put someone to work. It is good for the employee and for the employer. The quick turnaround time for Colleen’s companies is noteworthy, complimented by the fact that Wienhoff Drug Testing and Bio-Med Testing Services are within the top percentage of compliant TPAs. “The timeliness of our results and the knowledge of our collectors gives us an incredible advantage over other drug testing companies. Our clients also really appreciate that we assist the court process when the employer or the employee needs assistance in that situation.”
Research and technology are also hallmarks of success. If a topic needs to be researched, Jenny and Debbie are experts at researching the question to make sure they give the right information to their clients. Several attorneys called after the marijuana law passed in Oregon to ask if there was a way to tell if someone is high at a certain time. Jenny and Debbie researched it to make sure nothing new had come out on the market, because their answer was: Until the marijuana breathalyzer comes on the market, it is impossible to tell if a person is high at a certain point in time. “We cannot tell what their levels are without testing,” Colleen explained. “This will change when the marijuana breathalyzer comes on the market.”
Colleen has been working hard to make Wienhoff and Bio-Med one-stop shops. They are continuously adding more services so clients do not have to go to multiple vendors to get what they need. This includes getting tests for their physical, plus receiving TB shots and flu shots.