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Onmark, a national group purchasing organization for community oncology practices, has announced "Preparation Techniques for Hazardous Drugs," a new educational program that will help community oncology practices, provide a safer workplace for employees and ensure proper aseptic handling of prepared products for the safety of their patients. This three-part distance learning program is available to Onmark members through the company's Web site,


The "Preparation Techniques for Hazardous Drugs" program includes three modules:


* an online video demonstrating drug preparation concepts and techniques;


* an educational manual that reinforces the concepts described in the online video and provides additional information on handling and preparing hazardous drugs; and


* a sterile technique validation kit that is a self-assessment tool for hands-on testing of drug preparation skills. The kit also identifies incorrect procedures for sterility product leakage and provides immediate feedback on areas requiring improvement.



Program participants can take and submit tests online and apply for nursing continuing education credits after completing each of the three modules. The program is accredited by the Oncology Nursing Society.


Onmark has also sponsored teleconferences providing an overview of National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health-issued recommendations to prevent occupational exposures to antineoplastic and other hazardous drugs in the healthcare setting and the United States Pharmacopeia-issued Chapter 797, a regulation on pharmaceutical compounding, designed to ensure the sterile preparation of compounded products to prevent harm to patients receiving them, particularly patients with immunocompromised cancer.


Onmark, an OTN company, is one of the largest national group purchasing organizations for community oncology, representing more than $2.5 billion in annual drug purchases. Onmark provides its members with access to competitive contracts for oncology drugs and medical/surgical supplies, aggressive pricing, and practice management tools, clinical tools, and educational programs designed exclusively for community oncology. For information on the products, services, and programs available to Onmark members, visit