A hospital information system comprises a data processing system including a plurality of terminals having display means and data entry means. Patient information is entered into the system via the terminals, is organized hierarchically in the system, and may be displayed to users having proper access to the system. Once a patient is selected from a census list, all further access to information concerning such patient is obtained in a two-level selection process by (1) selecting a descriptor corresponding to information at a first organizational level, and (2) selecting a descriptor corresponding to information at a second organization level. Various parameters can be added to or deleted from the information at the second organizational level on a patient-specific basis by an authorized system user. Certain parameters may be "pre-printed", and other parameters may represent "macro"parameters.