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.



Seattle Children’s Bellevue branch warns of potential infection risk

The discovery that surgical instruments may not have been properly sterilized since Seattle Children’s Bellevue center opened in 2010 has triggered a warning to thousands of patients and families. The hospital is offering free tests for blood-borne viruses, such as hepatitis B and C and HIV, The Seattle Times reports.

Early medical-school training tipping toward Spokane

Two years before WSU’s medical school opens, there already will be more first- and second-year medical students studying east of the Cascades this fall than in Western Washington, The Seattle Times reports. State officials hope that some of the physicians who train in Spokane will stick around to work in Eastern and Central Washington, which faces a shortage of doctors.

States press for childhood vaccinations

Many adults have never seen someone with such diseases as measles or whooping cough and may not realize the risk of avoiding vaccinations. Eliminating vaccine exemptions or making them tougher to get can boost vaccination rates and reduce disease outbreaks, Kaiser Health News reports.

Pain isn’t the same for everyone

Nearly 40 million Americans experience severe pain and more than 25 million have pain every day, Kaiser Health News reports. The researchers with the National Institutes of Health also examined pain differences among ethnic groups and found, for example, that Hispanics and Asians are less likely to report pain.

Other news

Lice in Washington state have developed resistant to common cures

Cost of diabetes drugs a struggle for many patients

Well-rested hospital patients may mean better hospital ratings

Music can help patients recover from surgery


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


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.