We also use data to track how members are doing, so we can get a better idea of what’s working and what isn’t. That’s why we created a proprietary digital survey tool to help us assess how they’re feeling.
The Parsley Symptom Tracker is an online questionnaire that members complete at home at the beginning of their membership and before every visit with a doctor or health coach. It’s way for our members and their doctors to see their progress over time.
The tracker looks at nine body areas ranging from musculoskeletal to digestive and mental health. Questions evaluate your symptoms over the course of the past 14 days. This way as members repeat the tracker over time, it’s easy to see how symptoms in these areas are worsening or improving. The total score, called the Parsley Symptom Index (PSI), allows providers to have a snapshot of members’ health—are they well, symptomatic, or sick?
We created the Parsley Symptoms Tracker because there just isn’t anything like it out there. We wanted a tool that addressed the symptoms of people at all ages, not just when it was too late. We also wanted something in-depth and specific, but still short and easy to do.
Finally, we recognized that in Parsley Health’s health care model , where we have a long-term relationship with our members, it’s essential to capture how people are feeling in a systematic way about their health.
So, we followed FDA guidelines to build a patient reported outcomes survey, or PRO Survey. These PROS are used side by side with diagnostic test data (aka your test results) and physician assessment data (meaning your doctor’s assessment and diagnosis of your condition). Together these data sets give the most accurate view of your health.
Historically in medicine no one asked the patient how they felt—only the doctor’s view and the lab tests mattered. Now, the patient perspective is paramount, and it’s central to how we work at Parsley Health.
Self-tracking is eye-opening for most people. When asked to take stock head-to-toe, our members often realize things about their bodies they hadn’t been paying attention to. It also helps them visualize their progress—often a member will forget that some off the things they originally came in for are totally better! When they see their original score, the difference can be surprising.
The Parsley Symptom Tracker is invaluable to our physicians and health coaches. Right before a visit we look at a member’s tracker to get a snapshot of what is going on with them before they even arrive for their visit. The information gathered from the Parsley Symptom Tracker enables our health teams to optimize a member’s personalized health plan and change track if improvements aren’t coming quickly enough.
On the aggregate, the tracker helps Parsley as an organization see how our members are doing, both on the whole and within certain areas such as neurological or hormone health. It’s just one data point we anonymize and look at but it’s really helpful, alongside diagnostic tests and doctor’s assessments. We are committed to always doing better and looking at our data helps us improve our care .
We are now working with outside organizations like the Institute for Functional Medicine to share the Parsley Symptom Tracker more widely, so other practices can use it to. Our goal is for this tool to benefit medicine as a whole.
Dr. Robin Berzin is the founder and CEO of Parsley Health. A Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Robin completed medical school at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, and trained in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.