Any “feed”, whether an ADT feed, ORU feed or ORM feed, is basically a streamlined way of getting messages. In the HL7 standards world, ADT, ORU (order messages) and ORM (results messages) are the most common HL7 messages. Of those three, ADT messages are the most commonly used.
ADT stand for “admissions, discharges, and transfers”. It basically means demographics; anytime you think of ADTs, think demographics: the patient’s name, the patient’s location in the hospital, his or her address, phone number, gender, etc.
There are many different types of ADT message types, such as:
- Registering a patient
- Discharging a patient
- Merging patient files to avoid duplication
An ADT feed is one way an application or a provider can get all that information from a clinic or hospital information system (HIS). With the constant updating of a client, customer or patient’s data, ADTs comprise the most HL7 messaging traffic. Change of address, addition of a middle name, and addition of next of kin are all examples of the type of data updates that make up ADT messages. Upon updating, this clinical data will then flow out to different places such as outpatient clinics or laboratories, dependent on who needs that information in their database.
Typically, a hospital registration database will have the master of the patient data and information. Each time patient information is updated, the updates will be pushed out in the form of an ADT message to the appropriate applications in facilities such as labs or clinics.
ADT feeds are usually received through either an interface engine or direct (point-to-point) interface.
In the case of an interface engine, clinical data can be provided to a variety of places. An export can be set up so there can be a one-on-one connection where, for example, a hospital registration system can establish a connection to a lab outside of the hospital. “Data dumps” are also possible, where one end of the application has all the files and the other doesn’t and through the connection, the patient data can all be transferred.
In summary, ADT feeds are the most common and high volume feed used. The updating of patient information eclipses the volume of order and result feeds. Having up-to-date patient information, though, is a critical component in streamlining and improving the continuity of patient care.
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