Since 1972, a computer-stored medical record, called the Regenstrief Medical Record System was created and housed at the Regenstrief Institute in the Indiana University Medical Center Campus. The Medical records of more than 500,000 patients or 70 million observations have been stored since and capturing medical data of various diagnoses, test results and medications, from three major hospitals in the IUMC campus and 30 clinics and other health care sites in the Indianapolis area. This source provides an excellent opportunity for the epidemiological study and outcome research.
For years, skin cancer epidemiology has been the focus of epidemiological studies which including investigating the incidence of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer in the residential population of Kauai island of Hawaii. Recently, the focus is shifted, taking the advantage of Regenstrief database and data collected through newly designed prospective data sheet and questionnaires, to:
- Standardize severity scores of various inflammatory diseases for measuring the therapeutic outcome; for this goal, we have developed and published the "Dermatology Index of Disease Severity (DIDS)";
- Evaluate the therapeutic outcomes of inflammatory skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis, stressing the difference in the outcomes of management delivered by dermatologists and generalists;
- Measure the impact of Methotrexate treatment on liver in patients with psoriasis;
- Evaluate the quality of life of the patients we treated;
- Appraise the yields of submitting common skin lesions, such as, skin tags, seborrheic keratosis and nevus, for histopathological examination;
- Analyze the links between porphyria cutanea tarda and hepatitis C, skin cancer and the use of insulin, lichen planus and hepatic disorders;
- Evaluate the impact of clinical information upon the subsequent histological diagnosis of skin cancers and skin diseases;
- Analyze the risk factors which lead to the development of skin cancer; and
- Appraise the economic impact of follow-ups of patients who had skin cancer.