As I responded to @ddesimone in the other thread Consolidated Order Entry Design, it definitely makes sense to be able to see only orders of one type, and for order types where “active orders” is a useful concept, it makes sense to use that list to show active orders that can be edited or discontinued. I also agree that it is good to show the prior orders of a given type together with an easy way to initiate a new order of that type – although screen real estate may demand that you make the new order just a link or a button; then, if the user selects an existing order and choose “Edit”, or if the user chooses the new-order button, you can show the full order-type-specific ordering template.
However, it is also important to have a view that shows all the orders of all types in the order they were entered. Very often orders of various types are ordered together; for example, for a patient with pneumonia I will order an x-ray, some lab tests and an antibiotic all in quick succession. Later on I will want to see that I did all those things together. Similarly to the above, the user could select one of the orders in the consolidated list and click “Edit” and bring up the appropriate form for that order type.
It is true that orders of different types have different forms. What most systems have done is to have a text representation of each order that is entered, and that’s what you see on the consolidated view (you can use it on the separate order-type views as well). Thus, a medication order would be formatted as “Amoxicillin Oral Capsule 500mg once daily for 10 days [starting now]” and a lab order would be formatted as “CBC, electrolytes, urinalysis starting tomorrow morning”. This also has the advantage of being more readable to the clinicians.
If you go this path, I can help supply text formats that incorporate the structured fields of most order types.