Continuwell’s Health Ambassadors play a crucial role in evaluating symptoms and ensuring that your members receive the right level of care for their symptoms. A frequently discussed benefit of having a Health Ambassador available 24/7 is the decrease in unnecessary ER usage and its associated savings to health care expenses. A less discussed and even more crucial benefit is the impact that Health Ambassadors have on saving morbidity and improving member’s wellbeing by ensuring that people are sent to the ER even when they underestimate their symptoms.
Underestimating symptoms are surprisingly more prevalent than one would expect. Survey data shows that close to 10% of all callers tend to underestimate their symptoms, especially when those callers are adults with symptoms. Dr. Charu Raheja, CEO of the Continuwell, discussed her personal journey with her health in a recent interview by a television news channel. Charu discussed how, even someone as educated in triage as her, missed the signs of an Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) that burst and caused her to have a stroke. Brain AVMs account for about 2 percent of all hemorrhagic strokes each year and are often the cause of hemorrhage in children and young adults who experience brain hemorrhage. A burst AVM is associated with immediate death in about 20% of the cases.
Dr. Ricardo Hanel also participated in the interview. Dr. Hanel was Charu’s neurovascular surgeon. He explains how an AVM is a tangle of blood vessels prone to bursting and can cause a life-threatening bleed in the brain. He discussed how hard it is to know that a patient has an AVM until they start displaying symptoms enough to merit a CAT Scan. Most of the time, AVMs are only diagnosed after it bleeds and the patient suffers a hemorrhagic stroke.
“One important thought never left my mind was that if this could happen to me, it could happen to anyone…” says Charu of her thoughts following her stroke and surgery. “As I started to talk to people that I met, I started learning more about others who also ignored important health symptoms, and did not survive as a result of waiting too long. Part of our goal in Continuwell is to increase the number of people who get immediate care when a serious symptom arises. This is why we always include nurse health ambassadors for free to all of our customers,” continues Charu.
The conclusion and lesson from their messages are that people need access to an educated and impartial health care provider who can evaluate their symptoms and determine the best level of care for them. The free, confidential, and easy access to our Health Ambassadors encourages members to connect with an expert when they experience an unusual health symptom. No symptom is too big or small for our Health Ambassadors.
As a company, our Co-founder’s experience has only strengthened our drive to increase access to care and provide members with the best possible outcome for their symptoms.