Tag Archive for: Brian Stork


The 5th BJUI Social Media Awards

It’s hard to believe that we have been doing the BJUI Social Media Awards for five years now! I recall vividly our inaugural BJUI Social Media Awards in 2013, as the burgeoning social media community in urology gathered in the back of an Irish Bar in San Diego to celebrate all things social. At that time, many of us had only got to know each other through Twitter, and it was certainly fun going around the room putting faces with twitter handles for the first time. That spirit continues today as the “uro-twitterati” continues to grow, and the BJUI Awards, (or the “Cult” Awards as our Editor-in-Chief likes to call them), remains a fun annual focus for the social-active urology community to meet up in person.

As you may know, we alternate the Awards between the annual congresses of the American Urological Association (AUA) and of the European Association of Urology (EAU). Last year, we descended on Munich, Germany to join the 13,000 or so other delegates attending the EAU Annual Meeting and to enjoy all the wonderful Bavarian hospitality on offer. This year, we set sail for the #AUA17 Annual Congress in Boston, MA, along with over 16,000 delegates from 100 different countries. What a great few days in beautiful Boston and a most welcome return for the AUA to this historic city. Hopefully it will have a regular spot on the calendar, especially with the welcome dumping of Anaheim and Orlando as venues for the Annual Meeting.


On therefore to the Awards. These took place on Saturday 13th May 2017 in the City Bar of the Westin Waterfront Boston. Over 80 of the most prominent uro-twitterati from all over the world turned up to enjoy the hospitality of the BJUI and to hear who would be recognised in the 2017 BJUI Social Media Awards. We actually had to shut the doors when we reached capacity so apologies to those who couldn’t get in! Individuals and organisations were recognised across 12 categories including the top gong, The BJUI Social Media Award 2017, awarded to an individual, organization, innovation or initiative who has made an outstanding contribution to social media in urology in the preceding year. The 2013 Award was won by the outstanding Urology Match portal, followed in 2014 by Dr Stacy Loeb for her outstanding individual contributions, and in 2015 by the #UroJC twitter-based journal club. Last year’s award went to the #ilooklikeaurologist social media campaign which we continue to promote.

This year our Awards Committee consisted of members of the BJUI Editorial Board – Declan Murphy, Prokar Dasgupta, Matt Bultitude, Stacy Loeb, John Davis, as well as BJUI Managing Editor Scott Millar whose team in London (Max and Clare) drive the content across our social platforms. The Committee reviewed a huge range of materials and activity before reaching their final conclusions.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Most Read Blog@BJUI – “The optimal treatment of patients with localized prostate cancer: the debate rages on”. Dr Chris Wallis, Toronto, Canada


Most Commented Blog@BJUI – “It’s not about the machine, stupid”. Dr Declan Murphy, Melbourne, Australia


Most Social Paper – “Novel use of Twitter to disseminate and evaluate adherence to clinical guidelines by the European Association of Urology”. Accepted by Stacy Loeb on behalf of herself and her colleagues.


Best BJUI Tube Video – “Combined mpMRI Fusion and Systematic Biopsies Predict the Final Tumour Grading after Radical Prostatectomy”. Dr Angela Borkowetz, Dresden, Germany


Best Urology Conference for Social Media – #USANZ17 – The Annual Scientific Meeting of the Urological Association of Australia & New Zealand (USANZ) 2017. Accepted by Dr Peter Heathcote, Brisbane, Australia. President of USANZ.


Best Urology App – The EAU Guidelines App. Accepted by Dr Maria Ribal, Barcelona, Spain, on behalf of the EAU.


Innovation Award – BJUI Urology Ontology Hashtags keywords. Accepted by Dr Matthew Bultitude, London, UK, on behalf of the BJUI.


#UroJC Award – Dr Brian Stork, Michigan, USA. Accepted by Dr Henry Woo of Brian’s behalf.

Most Social Trainee – Dr Chris Wallis, Toronto, Canada


Best Urology Journal for Social Media –Journal of Urology/Urology Practice. Accepted by Dr Angie Smith, Chapel Hill, USA, on behalf of the AUA Publications Committee.


Best Urology Organisation – Canadian Urological Association. Accepted by Dr Mike Leveridge, Vice-President of Communications for CUA.


The BJUI Social Media Award 2017 – The Urology Green List, accepted by Dr Henry Woo, Sydney, Australia.


All the Award winners (except Dr Brian Stork who had to get home to work), were present to collect their awards themselves. A wonderful spread of socially-active urology folk from all over the world, pictured here with BJUI Editor-in-Chief, Prokar Dasgupta.


A special thanks to our outstanding BJUI team at BJUI in London, Scott Millar, Max Cobb and Clare Dunne, who manage our social media and website activity as well as the day-to-day running of our busy journal.

See you all in Copenhagen for #EUA18 where we will present the 6th BJUI Social Media Awards ceremony!


Declan Murphy

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Australia

Associate Editor, BJUI


April #UROJC: The Surgeon Scorecard – Merits of Publicly Reported Surgical Outcomes

The April 2016 International Urology Journal Club on Twitter (#urojc) hosted a discussion on our paper, “Comparing Publicly Reported Surgical Outcomes with Quality Measures from a Statewide Improvement Collaborative”. Published in JAMA Surgery on March 16, 2016, the paper was authored by Gregory Auffenberg MD, David Miller MD, Khurshid Ghani, Zaojun Ye, Apoorv Dhir, Yoquing Gao. I contributed as a member of MUSIC.

It was an honor to have the paper selected for a #urojc discussion, and the authors would like to thank JAMA Surgery for providing open access during the discussion period. This post serves as an overview, and the entire #urojc transcript is available for reading courtesy of Symplur

For those not familiar, the #urojc Twitter chat is a 48-hour asynchronous conversation amongst urologists around the world on Twitter on a selected journal paper, taking place on the first Sunday/Monday of every month.


The ProPublica Surgeon Scorecard

The subject of our research centered on the online U.S. surgeon ratings compiled for ProPublica’s Surgeon Scorecard. ProPublica is an investigative journalism organization that was given exclusive access to U.S. Medicare data for the years 2009 to 2013.

“Reporters Olga Pierce and Marshall Allen studied almost 75 million hospital visits billed to Medicare looking for eight common, elective surgeries. They then looked to see whether the same person returned to the hospital for what appeared to be complications from the surgery. Their full methodology is spelled out here.


The Michigan Urological Surgery Improvement Collective

Specifically, our research paper looked at ProPublica’s ratings for only one procedure – results on radical prostatectomy (RP) for prostate cancer – and correlation to reporting by MUSIC, the Michigan Urological Surgery Improvement Collaborative. MUSIC is a state-specific quality initiative in the U.S. in which I am a participating surgeon. Participation in MUSIC is voluntary, over 85 percent of urologists in the State of Michigan participate in the collaborative.



April #UROJC

As our paper states, the recent release of the Surgeon Scorecard accelerated debate around the merits of publicly reporting surgical outcomes. Surgical outcomes assessment is not a new concept, even dating back to 1860 as this tweet by @mattbultitude surfaced.

What does our community of urologists think about public reporting? Does greater transparency correlate with better outcomes? What are the benefits of a collaborative method like MUSIC? What methods are used in other parts of the world?


The #urojc discussion found that many urologists outside the U.S. were not familiar with the ProPublica ratings or debate. Some were not surprised that we did not find a correlation between our MUSIC outcomes data and the ProPublica data, thereby validating the need for quality outcomes data.



If the Surgeon Scorecard is flawed, what needs to be done to create an acceptable public reporting system?


Is public reporting of surgical outcomes taking place in Australia, UK, Canada & elsewhere?



How are ‘outliers’ identified by this study handled by MUSIC?


Do ratings lead to cherry-picking of patients?


According to New York cardiologist, Sandeep Jauhar, MD via Medscape, 63 percent of cardiac surgeons acknowledged accepting only relatively healthy patients for heart bypass surgery owing to report cards in New York State.


Moving Surgical Outcomes Forward 

On behalf of the authors of the paper and the entire MUSIC collaborative, I would like to thank our #urojc colleagues around the world for their thoughts, insights, criticisms and questions about the paper.

The ProPublica Surgeon Scorecard has generated significant and serious discussion in the U.S. about the challenges and merits of the public reporting of surgical outcomes. In an increasingly connected world, it’s difficult to imagine how this can remain simply an American debate.

Urologists by their very nature are leaders. Personally, I see this debate as yet another opportunity for us to develop and implement systems and strategies that reassure the public and advance patient care.



Wearable Technology in Urology

Wearable Technology

Everywhere I look these days, it seems like I am reading more and more about wearable technology. Earlier this year, I started using Fitbit to “quantify myself” in an effort to improve my overall health. As a urologist, I started wondering about the technology our patients might be wearing in the near future.

I did some research, and found some interesting examples of wearable technology in urology.

Diapers that Warn of Infection

We all have incontinent patients in our practice who are prone to developing recurrent urinary tract infections. When these patients begin to develop an infection, their symptoms are not always readily recognized.

Pixie Briefs are diapers with an embedded patch that tests urine for evidence of urinary tract infection. When the patient voids into the diaper, the patch on the front of the Pixie Brief is scanned with a mobile device. The data collected is automatically entered into an algorithm. When the algorithm detects evidence of a urinary tract infection, or dehydration, an alert is made. This technology is already available for infants and toddlers in the form of the Smart Diaper.

Leg Bags that Empower Patients

Foley catheters and suprapubic tubes are used in a wide variety of patients for the management of urinary retention. Many of these patients have mobility issues, I suggest the use of a high quality Folding Power Wheelchair, as due to their condition we can’t allow them to make any kind of physical effort using a traditional wheelchair, specially with their arms or their abdominal zone, otherwise the patient would be unable to sit out of bed. For these patients, day-to-day living with a leg bag can present a significant challenge.

The Melio leg bag system is designed to help these patients better manage themselves. The system consists of a leg bag with an embedded sensor, a patient controller, and a pump with extension tubing. The sensor within the Melio leg bag begins alerting the patient when the leg bag is two-thirds full of urine.  Once alerted, the patient uses the controller to activate the pump.  The pump pushes the urine out of the leg bag and into extension tubing that the patient can easily reach and readily control. The device allows patients who may have previously required assistance to empty their leg bag to have complete control over the emptying process.

Ostomy Bags with Benefits

As urologists, we are all very familiar with the surgical steps involved in creating an ostomy.

I think it’s fair to say, however, that most of us are far less familiar with the day-to-day challenges that accompany living with an ostomy.

The Ostom-i-Alert system is the brainchild of ostomate Michael Seres. This product is a sensor that clips onto any standard ostomy bag. The sensor collects data as the ostomy bag fills with urine, or bowel contents, and transmits the data to an application on the patient’s mobile phone.

The app then alerts the ostomate when the ostomy bag needs to be drained. Output data acquired by the sensor is securely stored and, if necessary, can be e-mailed to the surgeon, ostomy nurse, or any other member of the health care team.

Wearable Technology – A Growing Trend

Recently, there has been a tremendous  amount of investment, research and development, and direct patient marketing in the field of wearable medical technology. In the next couple of years, we are likely to see many more products being introduced into the marketplace.

Some of these products will undoubtedly be of help to our patients. Other products will probably just be fancy gadgets with very limited, if any, real clinical value.

As urologists, I believe we need be aware of these devices. We also need to start seriously thinking about how we are going to partner with our patients and their families to appropriately interpret, and responsibly act upon, quantified-self data.


Dr. Brian Stork is a community urologist who practices in Muskegon and Grand Haven, Michigan, USA.  He is a member of the American Urological Association Social Media Committee and is the Social Media Director at StomaCloak. You can follow Dr. Stork on Twitter @StorkBrian.


Twitter Chat Tools for International Urology Journal Club

Twitter is a great social channel for professionals to exchange ideas. I regularly use Twitter to connect with urologists, health care professionals, patients and thought leaders around the world. I also use Twitter to share my blog posts.


Participating in Twitter Chats

One of the many other ways I find value on the platform is by participating in Twitter Chats. Twitter chats are a great way to get people with a common interest into a community. A Twitter Chat can be a one-time event; however, most take place on a regular basis – weekly or monthly – and are organized around a designated hashtag.

Weekly healthcare chats that I regularly enjoy include: #hcsmanz (Healthcare and Social Media in Australia and New Zealand) and #hcsm (Healthcare Communications and Social Media) both on Sundays, #hcldr (Healthcare Leader) on Tuesdays, and #HITsm (Health IT Social Media) on Fridays.

My favorite Twitter chat, however, is the monthly #UROJC chat, International Urology Journal Club on Twitter. #UROJC takes place on the first Sunday of every month, starting at 3 pm Eastern time, and continues over a 48-hour period, rather than one hour. During this time, I can review and discuss current research in urology and engage with academic and community urologists around the world. The origins of #UROJC have previously been described by Dr. Henry Woo, @DrHWoo, in a BJUI blog post.


Twitter Chat Tools to Know

When you participate in #UROJC, or any other Twitter Chat, there are a few tools and tips that can be used to enhance your experience.

1. Tweetchat

A great application for Twitter Chats and conferences is Tweetchat.com. You can tweet directly from Tweetchat, and your tweets will automatically be appended with the hashtag. All participants using the hashtag can be viewed in a real-time stream.

How to use Tweetchat:

  • Go to Tweetchat.com.
  • Log in with your Twitter account.
  • Add the hashtag for the chat, i.e., #UROJC, in the “room” text box.
  • Now you will see all the people participating in the chat displayed in the stream in real time.
  • You can tweet directly from the platform through the tweet box provided. Tweetchat.com will automatically add the hashtag, and you are visible in the stream. You can click on buttons next to a tweet to reply or retweet another user.
  • You can also click to follow colleagues in the chat via Tweetchat. This is a great way to expand your network.


2. Twitterfall

Twitterfall is similar to Tweetchat, but has some customizable features. For example, you can edit out retweets, and control the speed of the Twitter stream. Twitterfall also has a place to create lists of people you want to engage with.

To get started on Twitterfall:

  • Go to Twitterfall.com.
  • Log in with your Twitter account to tweet directly from the platform.
  • Enter the hashtag #UROJC into the “search” text box.
  • View the discussion and participants in the stream.
  • Set your selections for a variety of other options including creating a list of participants.

3. Symplur

You can get a transcript of the tweets from each monthly #UROJC chat courtesy of Symplur. This is valuable if you want to review a chat or if you happened to miss a chat altogether.

In addition to chats, Symplur’s Healthcare Hashtag project is a rich resource for discovering and mining healthcare conversations on Twitter around specialties, disease states, patient communities, and healthcare conferences.

It is also interesting, at the end of a chat, to view Symplur’s analytics that show the participants who have the most mentions, tweets and impressions. Symplur can also a great place to identify new people to follow.


4. World Clock:

Because #UROJC is a global discussion over a two-day period, it can be confusing to keep track of starting times across multiple time zones. A great tool to find the time in your part of the world is the World Clock time zone converter.


I hope that you find these Twitter Chat tools and tips helpful, and I look forward to seeing you in the stream of our next monthly #UROJC. You can keep updated on what is up and coming on #UROJC by following the official Twitter account for the chat at @iurojc. You can always connect with me on Twitter @storkbrian.


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