Dr Richard Williams

Senior Software Engineer in Health Informatics

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Richard Williams is a senior software engineer and research fellow in the Centre for Health Informatics. He has led the development and implementation of several award winning web applications for reducing patient harm, and has recently completed a PhD titled "Applying software engineering principles to electronic health records in order to improve research and generate patient-specific actionable information". His current role is to lead a team of software engineers to deliver the applications listed below. Richard is currently funded by GM PSTRC - a 5 year project to improve patient safety within primary care.

Current and past projects

  • SMASH - analyses patient records to find patients at risk of hazardous prescribing. After a successful trial in Salford this is currently being rolled out across Greater Manchester.

  • GMCR - the Greater Manchester Care Record is a database allowing researchers to access linked data from primary and secondary care, as well as social care and mental health.

  • PINGR - analyses patient records to find patients with opportunities to improve their care. As with SMASH, currently being trialled in Salford ahead of a wider roll out.

  • eADAPT - helping lymphoma survivors to manage their long-term care. Clinicians are provided with timely, actionable information via PINGR, while patients will have an app to educate them about their care and remind them to take key steps.

  • STELAR - a project that pulled together data from 5 birth cohorts around the UK to investigate the development of asthma and allergies.

  • COCPIT - software for performing detailed care pathway analysis for researchers and health professionals.

The majority of Richard's research involves the electronic health records of patients in primary care. This involves investigating which tools and techniques are required to ensure that research performed on healthcare data, which was not collected primarily for that purpose, is robust and reproducible. Of particular interest is how researchers create their sets of clinical codes for interrogating the EHR. To this end, Richard has developed the web application GetSet to help researchers create, validate, enhance and share their code sets.

Richard's other interest is how the information captured in an EHR can be effectively fed back to clinicians in a way that leads to positive changes for patient benefit. The web applications SMASH and PINGR are designed and developed in an iterative fashion to help investigate which behaviours, both technological and social, affect the uptake of such systems.


PhD, University of Manchester

PGDip Business and Management Studies, University of Durham

BA (Hons) Mathematics, University of Cambridge

Biology, Medicine and Health (BMH) Domains

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