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DocAPProvED: Alert Yourself

Mohseni, Alex MD

doi: 10.1097/01.EEM.0000462411.87166.ed

Dr. Mohseniis an emergency physician in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and the counsel to the president for innovation and technology of Emergency Medicine Associates. He is the editor of his own blog, Follow him @amohseni, and read his past columns at





Staying abreast of the latest developments is a must if you play any sort of leadership role, manage a business, or lead a project. Imagine you are the chairman of your emergency department, and you are the last to read a negative article about your department. Embarrassing.

If you don't want to look like a fool, you need to enable Google Alerts. ( This free service continuously scours the web looking for new content, such as news articles and blog posts, related to the topic you identify. It then emails you an alert about the new content, either daily, weekly, or as it happens.

Consider these ideas:

  • Create a Google Alert for your name, and make sure to put it in quotes (“Alex Mohseni”). Putting a phrase in quotes will yield alerts only for that exact phrase. You'll know immediately if your name comes up in the news.
  • Create a Google Alert for your hospital name (“Sibley Memorial Hospital”) and a separate alert for your hospital ED (“Sibley Memorial Hospital Emergency Department”).
  • Create another one for your hospital system.
  • Create a Google Alert for your nearest hospital competitor or competing ED group.

It's helpful to be precise in your search term, and Google has some tools to help. You can use the minus sign in front of words you want to exclude, for example [ER -show -TV], to create alerts about “ER,” but exclude those articles that are likely about the TV show.

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