When designing an HL7 interface to send pharmacy orders from a clinical application to a pharmacy system, it can sometimes be a challenge to determine which HL7 message type to use to send different types of information.
Since both ORMs and RDEs can be used to send pharmacy orders, the question sometimes arises as to whether one should use ORM or RDE for pharmacy orders when working on an HL7 integration project. Either approach is valid.
Ultimately the question is not “Should I use ORM or RDE for pharmacy orders?”, but rather “Do my sending and receiving applications support exporting and importing of ORMs, RDEs or both for pharmacy orders?” Some vendors may choose to only export/import pharmacy orders as ORMs with additional segments or Z-segments as needed, while other vendors may choose to support export/import of RDEs instead, and still others may accept both.
However, the above can lead to a challenge should a sending system only support exporting pharmacy orders using the HL7 standard ORM message type, while the receiving system can only support importing pharmacy orders using the RDE message type (or vice-versa). What this means is that the sending system would be sending the order in a different message format (ORM) that is in a different message format (RDE) than the receiving pharmacy system can accept — hence the receiving pharmacy system would either ignore, reject, or error the order. In such scenarios, an interface engine can be used to transform the ORM from the sending system into an RDE that the receiving system can import successfully (or vice-versa).