The King County Medical Society (KCMS), founded in 1888, is a nonprofit professional organization dedicated to representing Seattle and King County physicians and their patients by promoting best practices in medicine and raising public awareness of issues critical to quality patient care and public health.

 

News

Seattle-area hospitals score low for stopping infections

When it comes to preventing patients from acquiring potentially deadly infections, hospitals in and around Seattle fall short, according to a Consumer Reports analysis. The region’s five biggest hospitals received low or middling scores both overall and for halting two infections: C. difficile and MRSA, the Seattle Times reports.

Online symptom checkers get a second opinion

Symptom checkers are the latest Internet tool for people seeking help with medical questions. Answering a series of online questions, users can get a diagnosis. A study found that their accuracy needs improving, NIH Research Matters reports, but as they improve, their benefits could, too.

Patients keep mum about acupuncture and chiropractic care

A study found that a third of acupuncture users and 42 percent of chiropractic care users did not let their regular doctors know about their alternative care. “Alternative treatments work for a lot of patients,” Dr. Charles Elder of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, told The New York Times. But, “if I don’t know what my patients are doing, I can’t advise them.”

Examining the stir over Washington medical education

Seattle Business magazine took a close look at the arguments from two state schools over medical schooling: Washington State University says it needs to allay the shortage of doctors, while the University of Washington worries about state funding being spread too thin.

Other news

Virginia Mason to help UK improve hospital quality

Many hospitals don’t follow guidelines for abused children

Should cell phones be turned off in operating rooms?

Canada considers lower limits on acetaminophen intake

 

Ebola: What clinicians need to know

Infection control and triage

Using proper infection control measures is crucial for preventing transmission of infectious diseases. Serious communicable diseases such as MERS and Ebola virus disease are making headlines, and flu season is looming. It’s crucial that appropriate infection control precautions are taken on a daily basis for every patient.

To protect your health care workers and patients from infectious diseases in health care settings:

  1. Review and ensure implementation of proper infection control procedures during all stages of the patient encounter;
  2. Review triage protocols for early identification to trigger appropriate infection control response; and,
  3. Take extra steps specifically for Ebola.

Resources for physicians

Resources for patients

News and other resources

News on Ebola

The argument against an Ebola quarantine for health-care workers

Ebola safety video available soon

Tapping mobile phone records could help monitor Ebola

Damage Control: Youth Sports Concussions

Increasing regulation and awareness around the causes and effects of sports-related concussions is leading to greater safety among young athletes. Physicians Leah G. Concannon and Stanley A. Herring of the Seattle Sports Concussion Program explore the latest developments in youth concussion management in their Bulletin article PreventableTragedies. Click here to download the article. 

Social Media Guidelines

Check out the latest addition to our Practice Resources: tips for how to make appropriate use of social media from the Washington State Department of Health, Federation of State Medical Boards and more.

Health Care Coverage Enrollment Help

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The open enrollment period for health coverage under the Washington State Healthplanfinder is Nov. 15, 2014 to Feb. 15, 2015. Individuals may qualify for special enrollment periods outside of the open enrollment dates, depending on their circumstances. For those who qualify for Medicaid/Apple Health, enrollment is ongoing. Or if your life situation changes, you may be able to enroll in a subsidized plan.

What’s new this enrollment season? Many things, but here are two you should know about:

  • Coverage renewals: Individuals who enrolled in a plan last year will need to renew their coverage during open enrollment. There are new options available this enrollment season and everyone — even those whose coverage was automatically renewed — is encouraged to review their plan  and not just assume the one they had last year remains the most affordable one for them.
  • Opportunity for small businesses to get coverage: King County small businesses will now be able to purchase coverage for their employees through Healthplanfinder. (Previously, only individuals in King County could purchase coverage.) The Washington Health Benefit Exchange offers information for employers.

King County’s website on health coverage has information on enrollment events in the county, how to get assistance with enrollment, and a Q&A about the new enrollment and renewal process. It will be updated regularly throughout the enrollment season. To find out more about how and where to enroll, consult Public Health – Seattle & King County’s enrollment event calendar.

More information can be found at Washington Health Benefit Exchange.

Education & Events

Visit our Education and Events page to learn more about:

  • Upcoming Continuing Medical Education opportunities throughout the Seattle-King County region; and
  • Free access to Heal-WA, an online medical library featuring tool kits, calculators, dictionaries, electronic textbooks, and journals.