The Regenstrief Medical Record System: A quarter century experience

Clement J. McDonald, J. Marc Overhage, William M. Tierney, Paul R. Dexter, Douglas K. Martin, Jeffrey G. Suico, Atif Zafar, Gunther Schadow, Lonnie Blevins, Tull Glazener, Jim Meeks-Johnson, Larry Lemmon, Jill Warvel, Brian Porterfield, Jeff Warvel, Pat Cassidy, Don Lindbergh, Anne Belsito, Mark Tucker, Bruce WilliamsCheryl Wodniak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

270 Scopus citations


Entrusted with the records for more than 1.5 million patients, the Regenstrief Medical Record System (RMRS) has evolved into a fast and comprehensive data repository used extensively at three hospitals on the Indiana University Medical Center campus and more than 30 Indianapolis clinics. The RMRS routinely captures laboratory results, narrative reports, orders, medications, radiology reports, registration information, nursing assessments, vital signs, EKGs and other clinical data. In this paper, we describe the RMRS data model, file structures and architecture, as well as recent necessary changes to these as we coordinate a collaborative effort among all major Indianapolis hospital systems, improving patient care by capturing city-wide laboratory and encounter data. We believe that our success represents persistent efforts to build interfaces directly to multiple independent instruments and other data collection systems, using medical standards such as HL7, LOINC, and DICOM. Inpatient and outpatient order entry systems, instruments for visit notes and on-line questionnaires that replace hardcopy forms, and intelligent use of coded data entry supplement the RMRS. Physicians happily enter orders, problems, allergies, visit notes, and discharge summaries into our locally developed Gopher order entry system, as we provide them with convenient output forms, choice lists, defaults, templates, reminders, drug interaction information, charge information, and on-line articles and textbooks. To prepare for the future, we have begun wrapping our system in Web browser technology, testing voice dictation and understanding, and employing wireless technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-253
Number of pages29
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Informatics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1999


  • Clinical data
  • Data capture
  • EMR
  • Medical records
  • Regenstrief Medical Record System

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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  • Cite this

    McDonald, C. J., Marc Overhage, J., Tierney, W. M., Dexter, P. R., Martin, D. K., Suico, J. G., Zafar, A., Schadow, G., Blevins, L., Glazener, T., Meeks-Johnson, J., Lemmon, L., Warvel, J., Porterfield, B., Warvel, J., Cassidy, P., Lindbergh, D., Belsito, A., Tucker, M., ... Wodniak, C. (1999). The Regenstrief Medical Record System: A quarter century experience. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 54(3), 225-253.