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The term “evidence-based practices” has become a common phrase across clinical milieus of every healthcare discipline. Hospitals and centers are laser-focused on enforcing their treatment models with this lingo as industry jargon meaning that there is clinical research, supporting the efficacy of delivered care. When researching where to receive medical services, decision-makers are regularly choosing a provider that offers “evidence-based treatment” because this language builds trust.

Healthcare is setting the curve in providing research that supports care prior to delivering services. Unfortunately, there are many industries that are not being held to the same standard. From investment banking to advertising agencies and law firms, there is very little vetted research to support the success, or lack thereof, of businesses across many mainstream industries. Most consumers simply accept this lack of information as satisfactory when making key choices, trusting that the decisions being made are based on experience and/or natural instinct of notarized experts.

As consultants, the key to any business transaction is establishing a quality relationship with our partners. This is sadly similar to buying a used car; a customer is more likely to make a purchasing decision based on their feelings towards the seller, not their feeling about the product. Harvard Business Review satirically writes the holy grail of consulting has been to grow some gray hair so that clients believe your pronouncements.” Should healthcare consulting be this kind of backdoor hustle, or does there need to be a higher standard of work?

As a consulting agency, there is a natural disinclination to provide “evidence-based consulting” because of the strong desire to be at the forefront of technology, innovation, and modernization. Consulting agencies are hired every day to help organizations to revolutionize their processes, resources, and procedures and to adapt to the newest technologies. Organizations view consultants as the “modern expert” who are not limited by the confines of their agency and, therefore, can introduce newer and better systems to the group. This directly conflicts with evidence-based solutions because, more often than not, there is no research to support the most modern resources. Latest-and-greatest is usually the opposite of tried-and-true. 

Looking forward into 2021 and beyond, consulting agencies need to take a long, hard look at their services and decide what they want their future to be built on. Consultants shouldn’t just be expert salespeople, we should be expert implementers, strategizers, project managers, and researchers. Evidence-based consulting means that the decisions being made to shape the future of your organization are driven from tactical, not only subjective, experience. As consultants, we need to have a balance in modernization and integrity. We need to offer our partner’s proven solutions and transparency in new technologies.

Questions about how Spyglass Solutions can help you to better support your strategic plan and stay within budget? Contact us at 610-799-7400 or