National Archives at St. Louis

Clinical and Medical Treatment Records

Original medical treatment records are returned to military hospitals and clinics upon request.  NPRC (MPR) offers three options (MRS, DD 877-1 and CIPS) for routine record requests.  Select the option that pertains to the record that you want to order.

Please Note:

  • NPRC (MPR) will accept faxed requests only in an emergency.  The request must state that there is a medical emergency and provide deadline date, if applicable.  Contact NPRC (MPR) at 314-801-9032 before faxing your request to 314-801-9048.

MRS (Medical Registry System) Record Orders:
With few exceptions, Inpatient and Outpatient records retired to NPRC since 2003 are electronically indexed on NPRC's Medical Registry System (MRS).  To expedite the return of a needed record, authorized users are encouraged to use the MRS to look up and to order records.  Users may query the database by patient's name or sponsor's/patient's social security number.  All records matching the query will be displayed (regardless of service branch or treatment facility) and users may electronically order those needed.  NPRC can quickly retrieve records requested through the MRS because the system provides complete identifying and locator information.  Click on the MRS link above to register for access and for user instructions.

CIPS (Centers Information Processing System) or DD 877-1 Record Orders

  • All other medical treatment records that are not indexed on the MRS are stored in and identified by the shipment in which they were retired.  Facilities which recall records that they originally retired to NPRC (MPR) must provide information regarding the shipment containing the desired record to facilitate retrieval.  This shipment information includes the accession number, box number, and NPRC (MPR) shelf location number, as well as patient identifiers.  The more information that is provided, the faster the record is likely to be found.  Follow the instructions below to request records that are not indexed on the MRS.

    • CIPS.  To speed the referencing of agency files, the Federal Records Centers have created the Centers Information Processing System (CIPS), an electronic system for the distribution of reference requests.  You may wish to review CIPS if you are requesting the return of records which were originally retired by your facility.

    • DD 877.  Complete DD 877-1, Request for Medical/Dental Records from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) (St. Louis, MO), in strict accordance with the instructions below.  This form is authorized for use by U.S. military medical facilities only.  It should not be distributed for personal use by former patients.  The form can be ordered through supply channels.

      DD 877-1 Instructions.  The DD Form 877-1 is the only request form that NPRC will accept from military medical treatment facilities for retired medical treatment records.  This form is authorized for use by military facilities ONLY.  Do not distribute to individuals for personal use.  Follow the instructions below to complete the form:

      1. Please check to make sure that records have been retired to NPRC before preparing the form.  (For records retired during 2003 or after, check MRS first.)  Most inactive records are held at the military treatment facility 1 to 5 years after the end of the treatment year before retirement.  Contact the Records Management Officer of the related facility to find out if records have been retired, if they are in a records holding area, or are still at the facility.  For records retired during 2003 or after, check MRS first.

      2. The Records Management Officer maintains receipt copies of the Standard Forms 135, Records Transmittal and Receipt, that show which records have been retired to NPRC.  IMPORTANT:  To expedite any request, ask the Records Management Officer for the accession number, agency box number, NPRC location number and registry number (if applicable) and enter this information into item 9 on the form.  This information helps NPRC process requests much faster.

      3. TO EXPEDITE THE RECEIPT OF RECORDS, YOU MUST COMPLETE ITEMS 1 THROUGH 11 and ITEM 14.  Incomplete forms will be returned.

      4. All entries relate to a patient AT TIME OF TREATMENT.

      5. Submit one form per patient, per type and year of records requested.

        INPATIENT RECORDS - Inpatient (clinical) records generally contain documentation of treatment during a single calendar year.  These records are normally retired and identified by the hospital that created them.  Requests for inpatient records must include the facility name and year of hospitalization.

        HEALTH RECORDS - NPRC (MPR) maintains health records for all U.S. Coast Guard and for military personnel separated from service prior to the following dates:  Army - October 16, 1992; Air Force - May 1, 1994; Navy - January 31, 1994; and Marine Corps - May 1, 1994.  After these dates, the health records are maintained by

        Records Management Center
        P.O. Box 5020
        St. Louis, MO  63115

        OTHER MEDICAL RECORDS - Outpatient, dental, psychiatric, and consultation records are generally cumulative.  A record may contain documents covering several years from several facilities.  When these records reach inactive status, they are generally retired and identified by the facility at which the patient was last treated or stationed.  Requests for outpatient, dental, psychiatric, or consultation records, therefore, must include the type of record being requested, the facility and last year of treatment.

        Note:  Specify health records to obtain outpatient records created during a service member's active or reserve status.  Specify outpatient to obtain outpatient records created during treatment as a military retiree.

        Please be aware that reassignments after last treatment may result in records (outpatient, dental, psychiatric, and consultation) being transferred to and retired from other military treatment facilities.  If no treatment was received at the medical facility at the place of final assignment, please enter the name and location of that facility and the year departed in Item 10, Remarks.

      6. Send the completed form to the NPRC location indicated below which maintains the records you are requesting.  Retain the second copy for your files.

        For military (active duty and retired) treated at Army, Air Force, and Navy medical treatment facilities; and dependent and other non-military personnel treated at Navy medical treatment facilities:

        ATTN: Organizational Records
        1 Archives Drive
        St. Louis, MO 63138

      7. Please enter the return address completely and legibly.

"NARA ensures, for the Citizen and the Public Servant, for the President and the Congress and the Courts, ready access to essential evidence."

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