Professor Rebecca Randell

High Quality and Safe Care

I joined the University of Bradford in January 2020 as Professor of Digital Innovations in Healthcare. My first degree, from Durham University, was in Software Engineering. I obtained my PhD in Human-Computer Interaction from Glasgow University in 2004.  

Prior to joining the University of Bradford, I spent 10 years at the University of Leeds, first as a Research Fellow in the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine and then in the School of Healthcare, initially as a Senior Translational Research Fellow, before being promoted to Lecturer in July 2015 and Associate Professor in August 2017. I also undertook postdoctoral appointments in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York and in the Centre for HCI Design at City University London.

Although I have a background in software engineering, my research is very much focused on the social, understanding how healthcare professionals carry out their work in order to inform the design of health IT to support that work and understanding how health IT is used in practice. I have studied medical and nursing handover in a variety of hospital settings, histopathologists making diagnoses at the microscope, and multidisciplinary team meetings. I have carried out research into nurses’ customisation of equipment in the intensive care unit, nurses’ use of computerised decision support systems, the effect of novel hardware solutions on GP-patient communication, the impact of a virtual reality microscope on time to diagnosis in histopathology, and the impact of a wall-sized display on collaboration in undergraduate and postgraduate pathology teaching. This understanding is achieved largely through qualitative methods, focusing on the use of observations supported by interviews. I also have a particular interest in realist evaluation. I have experience of undertaking systematic reviews, surveys, and more experimental approaches to evaluation. 

At the University of Leeds, I led an NIHR Health Services & Delivery Research (HS&DR) funded realist evaluation of the impact of robotic surgery on teamwork in the operating theatre and was co-investigator on an NIHR HS&DR funded study looking at the introduction of quality dashboards in the NHS on an NIHR HS&DR funded realist review of the impact of networked IT on patient safety. More recently, I led an NIHR HS&DR funded project to develop and evaluate QualDash, a quality dashboard that supports clinical teams, quality and safety committees, and NHS Trust boards to better understand and make use of National Clinical Audit data. Currently I lead an NIHR HS&DR funded project on what supports and constrains falls risk assessment and prevention in acute hospitals, to inform the design of a decision support tool to support falls prevention.

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