Evidence-based everything is all the rage. What does it mean? It means taking into consideration the results of the best research we have to inform decisions and behavior. Evidence-based Practice is applied to healthcare. It was defined by Dr. David Sackett as“the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of the individual patient. It means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research.” Interestingly, it can fly in the face of tradition and protocols that don’t take evidence into consideration!
Evidence-based policy includes the use of scientifically rigorous studies to identify programs and practices capable of genuine improvement. Because we want good results, right?
Evidence-based investing manages assets by combining data from the past and present with candor about the unknowable future.
But, how many times do authorities make decisions without taking a look at existing evidence? Too often. And why? Perhaps because their intuition is telling them something else is going on, something that is not captured by the evidence.
Human intuition, especially that of experienced professionals, is extremely valuable. When there is cause for doubt, even if it is difficult to articulate, attention must be shifted and brought to bear before action is taken. No question.
But, then what about those who do not want to even look at the evidence? Unfortunately there are those who have well-developed opinions and no interest in examining existing evidence because of preconceived biases. This is a problem. Willfully choosing to ignore studies and science when it is available is tantamount to treason when it comes to serving the public good. Let’s all take a look at what we know before we decide, especially if our decisions impact the well-being of those with whom we share our world.
Facts are stubborn things.