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Thought Leadership

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What Patients Really Want: Good Bedside Manners

For physicians, meeting patients is their everyday routine. For patients however, every visit to the physician’s office could be life-changing. Hurried consultations and poor bedside manners are eroding physician-patient relationships and hindering patients’ recovery. A growing number of patients from our kidney stone community report feeling neglected by their urologists.

Showing respect, listening actively, and using metaphors during consultations are a few ways to reassure patients and communicate empathy*. What do you incorporate in your practice to care for patients?

*Source: Bedside Manner 2020: An Inventory of Best Practices

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Are self-removal stents really more convenient? Stuck with fussy extraction strings, some patients disagree.

Self-removal stents require a shorter retention time and incur lower costs compared to in-office cystoscopies, making them a more popular option among both urologists and kidney stone patients*. However, many patients in our community struggle with extraction strings catching on their clothes.

For some, even simple tasks like getting dressed and walking have become a challenge. To reduce the instances of stents dislodging, some urologists advise shortening the extraction strings, but most just rely on patients to self-manage. What precautions do you take to prevent patients’ stents from dislodging?

*Read more here: The use of a string with a stent for self-removal following ureteroscopy: A safe practice to remain

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Stone or sepsis? Help patients tell the difference.

Proper management of kidney stones is essential to mitigating the risks of kidney infection and subsequent onset of sepsis. Yet, recent observations of our kidney stone patient community revealed that many patients are unaware of the symptoms and risks of infection, until it is too late. In some cases, patients have even left stones untreated, resulting in sepsis!

Comprehensive patient education is a critical first step in improving health outcomes for these patients. Some simple but effective ways include informing patients about their risk factors based on their stone type, and teaching them to identify symptoms of an ongoing infection.

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Growing number of patients report delayed pain after stent removal.

Urologists know patients often complain about the incredible discomfort caused by ureteral stent placement. But what about delayed pain after removal?

Several members of our patient community have reported experiencing some pain, up to one week after stent removal. A study by USC Urology found moderate morbidity associated with removal, and researchers concluded that this phenomenon “appears to be underappreciated by physicians”*. While some delayed pain is normal, it may help to inform patients about the warning signs that should prompt a visit to the ER!

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*Source: Patient Experiences and Preferences with Ureteral Stent Removal

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Are your patients’ occupations affecting their kidney health?

According to some studies*, jobs can be a risk factor for kidney stones if they prevent workers from staying hydrated or going to the bathroom regularly. Professional drivers, healthcare workers and secretaries, for example, tend to experience such issues. One way to help these patients is by writing a note to employers, advocating for more bathroom breaks where possible!

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Source: Occupational kidney stones

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