Trauma and other disease registries have been used to improve patient care and outcomes at the system level. Paradoxically, registries have had little role in informing the care of any individual patient while that care is being determined and delivered. The lack of timeliness of useful data is a major barrier to the value of registries in improving individual patient care real-time. What do trauma and emergency care providers require from their trauma registries to inform real-time patient-tailored improvements in trauma care? Research is urgently needed to improve the usefulness of disease registries, and to develop innovative processes and applications using patient data to inform patient care real-time, thereby improving patient outcomes.