Patients who have a bad experience in a hospital’s emergency department are bound to complain to anyone who will listen. But they usually don’t do so until after they leave the E.R., when it’s too late for the hospital to improve that patient’s experience.
Feedtrail Co-Founder and CEO Paul Jaglowski and his founding team have figured out a way to solve that problem. The Raleigh-based startup’s quick feedback forms—delivered electronically in the moment of receiving care—work to improve patient experiences for Feedtrail’s healthcare customers.
Feedtrail’s solution is drawing plenty of fans. The company closed last month on $600K in new funding to bring its total to $1.4M since late 2017, and last week it began a summer in Los Angeles as participants in the prestigious Cedars-Sinai Accelerator.
Jaglowski and the other Co-Founders Mikko Lehmus, Gert Volmer, Chris Miller, Jesse Haka and Matti Lehmus all recognized the major gaps in service industries when it comes to learning and understanding customers’ desires. Whether it was at a restaurant, hotel or other venue, customers typically are unable to provide service feedback until after the fact, often coming in the form of a bad Yelp review or dissatisfied experience survey.
Feedtrail wanted to fix that by sending customers or patients a short survey of fewer than 10 questions during the service experience itself. The startup originally had clients in nine different industries, including airlines, hotels and veterinarians. But then the Feedtrail team realized the specific opportunity for healthcare. Jaglowski said that around 15 years ago, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services mandated that every health system and hospital send out a post-experience survey of over 30 questions between 48 hours and six weeks after discharge.
“By the time you get the data, you can’t do anything with it,” Jaglowski said. “You learn that patients are dissatisfied once they’ve already decided to go elsewhere for care. So that’s the gap we’re trying to fill here.”
Feedtrail, which Jaglowski and his other co-founders went full time with in 2017, currently serves over 30 health systems in the U.S. and has expanded to Europe as well. Jaglowski said he hopes Feedtrail can help healthcare organizations identify patients at risk of leaving dissatisfied and ensure that patients return to them for care.
“When we started this,” Jaglowski said, “the whole impetus was to ensure that every patient receives the care they deserve throughout that experience while also ensuring that every health system truly understands the health of their organization from the inside out.”
Cary’s Cofounders Capital was Feedtrail’s first seed investor, putting in more than $300K in December, 2017, and later following on with another $150K+, while Winston-Salem’s Dioko Ventures led last month’s $600K round. For Cofounders Capital partner Tim McLoughlin, the excitement of Feedtrail’s customers was part of their appeal—and why he encouraged Feedtrail to move to the Triangle from Virginia.
“When we invested in Feedtrail, they were very early on and had just a few customers,” McLoughlin said. “But they listened to their customers and applied that feedback and that’s why they’ve been able to be successful.”
Feedtrail uses headshots of specific doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers to create a more intimate opportunity for feedback, Jaglowski said. Patients can remain anonymous or elect to be identified.
“As a result, we’re drawing very high response rates,” Jaglowski said. “We are directly impacting the net promoter score of these organizations. We’re giving them that data truly in real time. The second after a patient pushes submit, the on-duty staff can be made aware of any opportunities for improvement. They can resolve concerns and keep that patient satisfied.”
Feedtrail now has 16 employees and expects to hit $1M in annual revenue by the end of the year. McLoughlin said Cofounders Capital is lucky to work with entrepreneurs like Jaglowski, who is truly making an impact in improving the patient experience.
“Everybody has horror stories about healthcare,” McLoughlin said. “Take patient responses. The majority of any sort of feedback in the healthcare space is primarily negative, but Feedtrail will give patients an outlet for what went well, nurses and doctors who treated patients with good, quality care, and so hearing those voices is important. Anything they can do to improve the patient experience, lower wait times, lower cost in healthcare is what we need.”
Most recently, the Feedtrail team has moved to Los Angeles for the Cedars-Sinai Accelerator Program, which runs from June to September. Jaglowski said it’s humbling knowing his startup is one of 10 that were selected from over 500 teams worldwide that applied. The program includes a $100K investment.
“It’s definitely validating for the company,” Jaglowski said. “It shows that we’re onto something real and important. And to be given the chance to work with one of the most prestigious and well-renowned healthcare organizations in the world is exciting for us.”