Docent Health raises $15M to help hospitals up their patient experience game

By Jonah Comstock
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Boston-based Docent Health has raised $15 million in a new round of funding. The round was co-led by Bessemer Venture Partners, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), and Maverick Ventures. All three investors previously participated in the company's $2 million seed round in January.

The startup, which grew out of healthcare investment firm Oxeon Holdings, combines mobile software tools and trained human interlocutors to improve the consumer experience for its hospital partners.

“Health systems often do an amazing job of providing data-driven clinical care, but they don’t take the same systematic approach when it comes to the human experience of healthcare,” Docent Health CEO Paul Roscoe said in a statement. “Changes in the healthcare industry have triggered a fierce battle for the hearts and minds of healthcare customers. Health systems are quickly realizing that if they want to succeed in this era of consumerism, they need to learn from other consumer-centric industries, and get much more sophisticated about making customers feel known, heard and valued. This is the pivotal change happening in healthcare right now, and Docent Health is at its epicenter.” 

The Docent Health technology platform allows "docents" to communicate with patients via apps, text, phone, and chat -- as well as in person at the hospital. Through these interactions, the company both guides the patient through the care process from admission to discharge, and even afterward, and collects data it can use to improve future patient experiences for the hospital.

According to a Reuter's report from earlier this year, the docents will sometimes be hospital staff and sometimes be employees of Docent Health, depending on the deployment. The story also noted that Docent's first customer would be New York's Hospital for Special Surgery.