Department of Health

This document is a clinical system guide and standard for interfacing from an electronic prescribing system to a pharmacy application. Pharmacy Interfacing is a best practice guide that has been developed in collaboration with the VPHS, and aligns clinical system and EMR pharmacy vendors with a standards based approach for pharmacy interfacing. Current vendors have performed and implemented the necessary product modifications to meet these standards for the VPHS. Variations to this standard should first be reviewed and discussed with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Digital Health branch before enabling the variation.


This standard is for interfacing electronic prescribing system with pharmacy application. It includes Inpatient medications management, Outpatient medications management and Discharge medications management. The Inpatient medication management covers total parenteral nutrition (TPN) and Intravenous (IV) fluids (i.e. multi-component medication) while the Outpatient and Discharge medication management covers PBS prescribing.

The standard describes a conceptual pathway that represent the medication management process within a Clinical system, and which include associated interfacing to the Pharmacy application. The associated interfacing is represented through an Interface model. The interface model depicts message flow from Clinical system, through the Integration engine of Digital Health and the Agency to the Pharmacy Application. The message flow varies depending on whether the Pharmacy application can receive an RDE message or an ORM Order message.

The standard covers detailed process of message flow for various scenarios which include Alerts and Allergies, Prescriptions for Outpatients and Discharge Medications, PBS/RPBS Prescriptions for Inpatient (Day Oncology), Inpatient Prescriptions, Combination Drugs, Compound/Complex (Multi-Ingredient) Medications, Cancels/Modifications, Authority Notification System(ANS), Catalogues, The Stock Control Process, Electronic Medication Dispensing Cabinets, Barcode Scanning for Medications Administration and Blood Bank Orders.

Also included in the standard is a Medication orders technical specification for the two message types of ADT (Update Person Information) and RDE (Pharmacy Encoded Order).

Reviewed 16 November 2022


Contact us

Digital Health

Was this page helpful?