Variable Use of Postoperative Imaging Following Ureteroscopy: Results from a Statewide Quality Improvement Collaborative

Urology. 2020 Feb:136:63-69. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2019.07.055. Epub 2019 Oct 13.


Objective: To understand patient and practice-level factors impacting postoperative imaging use after ureteroscopy (URS) for urinary stone disease.

Methods: The Michigan Urological Surgery Improvement Collaborative's Reducing Operative Complications from Kidney Stones (MUSIC ROCKS) initiative is a consortium of 52 urologists from 11 practices in Michigan. From June 2016 to July 2017, we prospectively collected clinical data for patients undergoing URS for stone treatment by MUSIC ROCKS participants. We measured the proportion of these patients who underwent US, AXR, and/or CT within the first 60 days after their procedure. We then assessed variation in the use of post-URS imaging according to patient characteristics and across MUSIC ROCKS practices.

Results: During the 13-month study period, we identified 2850 patients who were treated with URS for stone disease. Overall, only 47.6% of these patients underwent postoperative imaging. AXR was the most common modality used (55.0% of patients), followed by US (21.9%) and CT (11.1%). As shown in the Figure, use of post-URS imaging varied widely across participating practices (23.7%-73.6%; P <.01). Imaging receipt did not differ by patient age, gender, or insurance status. However, patients with more comorbidities, renal stones and those with larger stones were more likely to receive post-URS imaging (P <.05 for each comparison).

Conclusion: Fewer than half of patients in Michigan undergo postoperative imaging after URS for stone disease. Moreover, there is substantial variation across providers in post-URS imaging use. These findings help identify opportunities to improve the quality of care for patients with urinary stone disease in the State.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Calculi / surgery*
  • Male
  • Michigan
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnostic imaging*
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Procedures and Techniques Utilization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality Improvement*
  • Ureteroscopy*
  • Urology*