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In the American jumble of providers and services that we like to call a “healthcare system”, there is a phrase that is the enemy of all that we are supposed to stand for — Just good enough.

just good enoughThis simple little phrase is infected with implications most of which are not very good when it comes to quality of care, safety and  patient/family satisfaction.  In my career, I have, unfortunately, seen hundreds of situations where  “good enough” is seamlessly substituted with the lame excuse of mediocre performance, “Well, at least the patient didn’t die.”

In defense of this phrase, there are situations when its use is more than appropriate, as in “Our 10 to 12 percent profit margin for hospital care is good enough,”  versus bullying our employees into submission, and endangering patients, to squeeze out 17 or 20 percent.