Ready to See Impactful Lifestyle Changes in Your Members? Readiness vs. Risk-Based Population Health

We all know that smoking is bad for you, just like we all know that a nutritious diet and exercise are good for you. And when we’re sick, we know taking our medication as prescribed can help our illness. So how come we don’t always make these healthy lifestyle decisions? There are many health and wellness, case management and population health programs available that try to encourage individuals to live their healthiest life. But there are different models and techniques for these programs and not all of them are created equal.

The Risk in Risk-Based Models

Many health and wellness programs use a risk-based approach to determine who may benefit most from wellness coaching support. They look at an individual’s health habits or whether they have a particular condition and try to predict their risk of illness or high-cost procedures, while also taking into account morbidity and mortality. Once a person’s risk profile is established, they are often provided a prescriptive intervention strategy. These health and wellness coaching programs tend to be static, using a one-size-fits-all approach to move individuals along the change continuum within a specific timeframe. Programs like this can be successful for some, but often lack the personalization to meet an individual’s needs and drive sustainable outcomes.

Time for Change

Studies have shown that behavior change and motivational interviewing techniques that recognize and explore a person’s beliefs, past behaviors, intentions, influences and motivations can be more successful at achieving positive health outcomes.[1], [2], [3]

These models are readiness driven, which means they focus not only on a person’s clinical indicators, but also on their intrinsic desire and perceived ability to do something positive for themselves. With a readiness-based model, there is an understanding that people are not going to make a change simply because they’re told they should. Instead of being one-size-fits-all, readiness-based wellness coaching programs are tailored to each individual’s unique circumstances.

Ready? Set. Go!

Using evidence-based behavior change research and our proven health coaching model, Health Dialog developed the proprietary Ready? Set. Go!® framework, a readiness-based approach to behavior change. As the name implies, Ready? Set. Go! includes three key phases designed to promote sustained behavior change. The framework is structured to help individuals identify and set realistic goals tailored to their personal circumstances and build on these over time.

Specially trained Health Coaches work with individuals at each stage of the process to understand their unique health journey and explore their motivation and confidence to take action. Working alongside a skilled and experienced Health Coach is key to member success.  

This is a dynamic process, based on the evidence that an individual’s personal priorities drive their success. Our wellness coaching approach strives to help people tap in to their intrinsic motivation to set personal goals, overcome their barriers and achieve whole health for life.

Ready for Results

Health Dialog recently incorporated the Ready? Set. Go! framework into a weight management program for a client where individuals who enrolled in the program worked with a Health Coach to establish weight-loss goals over a one-year period. Making progress towards a healthy weight can be challenging, especially for individuals who also manage chronic conditions and acute health situations. However, the Ready? Set. Go! framework provides substantive and personalized interactions with compassionate Health Coaches who naturally drive members to invest in their health to achieve optimal wellbeing.  

This combination of the Ready? Set. Go! framework incorporated with Health Dialog’s disease management and wellness services saw measurable results:

  • 70% engagement rate driven by the collaborative partnership between members and their Health Coach
  • 88% of members who completed the weight management program reduced their body mass index (BMI) by 5% or more
  • 97% of members felt their Health Coach was knowledgeable according to a member satisfaction survey
  • 98% of members indicated that their Health Coach was friendly and helpful on the member satisfaction survey
  • 3 to 1 return on investment for the program

The Ready? Set. Go! framework promotes positive wellness behaviors by empowering individuals to take charge of their health one step at a time. It emphasizes the importance of continually re-evaluating goals, exploring relapse triggers and addressing barriers to inspire individuals to keep going when obstacles occur. Health Dialog’s proven approach to behavior change allows individuals to build on their successes over time to seamlessly incorporate healthy behaviors for life.


[1] Barley, E. and Lawson, V. (2016). Using health psychology to help patients: theories of behaviour change. British Journal of Nursing. Vol. 25, No. 16.

[2] Patrick, H. and Williams, G. (2012). Self-determination theory: its application to health behavior and complementarity with motivational interviewing. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, doi 10.1186/1479-5868-9-18.

[3] Lundahl, B., et al. (2013). Motivational interviewing in medical care settings: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Patient Education and Counseling. Volume 93, issue 2, pages 157-168. November 2013.


Topics: Solutions & Best Practices

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