It is efficient to monitor the status of implanted ureteral stent using a mobile social networking service application
Forgotten ureteral stents (FUS) is a great threat to both patients and doctors. Applications on smartphones can significantly reduce the incidence of FUS. But existing applications do not have instant notification and consultation functions. To implement those function, we developed a ureteral stent tracking system embedded in a social networking service application, WeChat. “Ureteral Stent Tracking System” was developed on WeChat, a social media application using by 1.4 million active users. The study consecutively enrolled patients who underwent ureteral stent installation from April 2018 to July 2018. Each patient’s information was recorded on the smartphone by the urologists to create a document immediately after the surgery. The system sends notifications twice a week to both patients and clinicians via the message function of WeChat. A total of 183 patients were enrolled. The most senior patient enrolled was 73 years old. 156 (85.2%) patients underwent stent extraction before the scheduled time. 22 did not undergo stent extraction before the scheduled time because of urinary tract infection or stone residue. They underwent stent extraction within 1 month after the scheduled time. Two patients did not come to the hospital until we had made a phone call to them, though they had received notification from the online system. During the study, no patient was lost-to-follow up. In bilateral stents cases, no stent was forgotten after extraction surgery. A total of 85 (46.4%) patients consulted 132 issues in the system. 52 (39.4%) patients complained about hematuria. 36 (27.3%) patients reported lower urinary tract symptoms. All the consultations were answered within 24 h. “Ureteral Stent Tracking System” implement instant notification and consultation functions via WeChat. It helps urologists to manage indwelling ureteral stents and to reduce the incidence of FUS efficiently.
KeywordsUreteral stent Urolithiasis Ureteroscopy Patient safety Social networking services
We would like to thank Mr. Lei Zhang, Ms. Baoqiong Zhang and their team for application development and providing us with the screenshots for the figures.
This work was funded by Shanghai Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning under Grant number 20184Y0151, and Shanghai Association of Chinese Integrative Medicine under Grant number ZHYY-ZXYJHZX-1-03, and Shanghai Ninth People’s Hospital Chuangke Projects under Grant number CK2018009. All these study sponsors have no roles in the study design, in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
None of the contributing authors have any conflict of interest, including specific financial interests or relationships and affiliations relevant to the subject matter or materials discussed in this article.
This study has been approved by the ethics committee of Ninth People’s Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai JiaoTong University and has therefore been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.