Rachel Richesson

Rachel Richesson, PhD, MPH, MS, FACMI

Professor of Learning Health Sciences
Accepting HILS PhD Students? Yes
Accepting PIBS Students? Yes


Rachel Richesson is a Professor in the Department of Learning Health Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Michigan. She holds a PhD and MS in Health Informatics and a Masters of Public Health from the University of Texas. 

Dr. Richesson conducts original research on the quality and usability of data from electronic health records (EHRs) for research, and has fostered numerous interdisciplinary research collaborations.  She has directed implementation of data standards for a number of multi-national multi-site clinical research and epidemiological studies, including the NIH Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network, Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet, and The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY) study, and the national distributed Patient Centered Outcomes Research Network (PCORnet). 

Dr. Richesson currently leads the EHR Core for the NIH Health Systems Research Collaboratory, which is developing standards and quality metrics for clinical phenotyping using EHR data in pragmatic clinical trials. In addition, she and Department of Learning Health Science chair Charles Friedman co-lead the multi-stakeholder “Mobilizing Computable Biomedical Knowledge” (MCBK) community charged with establishing the standards, policies, and governance needed for biomedical knowledge to be widely disseminated and applied.

Social media  @rrichesson (Twitter)

Areas of Interest

Research and Scholarly Interests

Dr. Richesson’s research interests include biomedical informatics (including Clinical Research Informatics and Public Health Informatics), evaluating and implementing data standards (including terminologies and classifications such as SNOMED CT, ICD, LOINC, RxNorm, CTCAE and MedDRA, and condition-specific ‘common data elements’), knowledge representation (including formal ontologies, heterogeneous data integration), the design of patient registries, and rare diseases research advocacy.  

Subject-Matter Expertise

Data representation, data harmonization, data standardization, pragmatic research design, clinical decision support, team science

Other professional highlights

  • Editor of Springer Clinical Informatics textbook: https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783319987781
  • Elected Fellow, American College of Medical Informatics (FACMI, 2014)
  • Chair, Scientific Program Committee, Clinical Research Informatics Summit, supported by the American Medical Informatics Association, April 7-11, 2014, San Francisco, CA.

Published Articles or Reviews

Selected publications:

  • Richesson RL, Marsolo KS, Douthit BJ, Staman K, Ho PM, Dailey D, Boyd AD, McTigue KM, Ezenwa MO, Schlaeger JM, Patil CL, Faurot KR, Tuzzio L, Larson EB, O'Brien EC, Zigler CK, Lakin JR, Pressman AR, Braciszewski JM, Grudzen C, Fiol GD. Enhancing the use of EHR systems for pragmatic embedded research: lessons from the NIH Health Care Systems Research Collaboratory. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2021 Nov 25;28(12):2626-2640. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocab202. PMID: 34597383; PMCID: PMC8633608. https://scholarlycommons.henryford.com/chphsr_articles/245/
  • Richesson RL. Learning health systems, embedded research, and data standards-recommendations for healthcare system leaders. doi: 10.1093/jamiaopen/ooaa046. PMID: 33619464. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33619464/
  • Richesson RL, Staes CJ, Douthit B, Thoureen T, Hatch D, Kawamoto K, Del Fiol G. Measuring Implementation Feasibility of Clinical Decision Support Alerts for Clinical Practice Recommendations. Journal of the American Medical Association 2020: 27(4):514–521. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocz225. PMID: 32027357. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32027357/

A list of all publications can be found here.