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Cloudnine Hospitals: Combining Innovation and Serve Mothers and Infants.

  • Prodigy
  • Thursday, 17 Nov, 2022
  • 7633
Cloudnine Hospitals

The fourth and fifth Millenium Developmental Goals (MDGs), which aim to enhance maternal and child survival and health, rely on ensuring that all women and newborns have access to high-quality health care. Efforts in this direction need to be made on various fronts, including expanding available services, training service providers, better coordination of birthing care, and implementing societal initiatives to encourage healthier pregnancies and childbirth.

The quality of care provided significantly impacts maternal outcomes, including the likelihood that mothers would seek treatment, the length of time it will take to get adequate care, and the success of that care. More than two decades of focused, safe motherhood training have contributed to India’s long history of maternal health efforts. Patient outcomes have been improved due to the government of India’s health policies and programmes and the emergence of several medical facilities across the country, allowing India to rise above the ashes of British India with a lower infant mortality rate (IMR) and improved healthcare. 

Business Touch Magazine brings you one of the most influential medical firms with cutting-edge technology and highly trained medical staff that aims to provide maternal and neonatal care. Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, a Kids Clinic India Private Limited division, offers obstetric and paediatric treatment, a firm that caters to Indian clients in need of obstetrics and newborn care. Continue reading to learn more about the inception, the founder, the challenges and the leading values of Cloudnine hospital that made them a big success. 

Founder Chairman & Executive Director, Senior Neonatologist

As there were no specialisations in India at the time with the passion for saving smaller and premature babies, Dr R. Kishore Kumar left India shortly after earning his MD in Paediatrics in 1989 to pursue further training in Neonatology (a subspecialty of Paediatrics dealing with extremely premature and small infants for less than a year). After spending almost two decades abroad (four years in the United Kingdom, eleven years in Australia, and one year in the United States), Dr Kishore returned to India to recreate the triumphs he had seen elsewhere, and Cloudnine was born.

“After spending 16 years abroad receiving my education and training from some of the world’s top institutions, and after being honoured by Bill Clinton in 2006 as the youngest and most highly qualified paediatrician in the world at the time, my wife and I came back to India to found Cloudnine to enhance maternal and newborn health care in the country,” adds Dr Kishore.

Cloudnine Hospitals

Medical attention for mothers and newborns is a speciality of Kids Clinic India Private Limited. Aside from newborn care, the company also provides gynaecological & fertility services. Cloudnine Group of Hospitals is an Indian hospital network specialising in obstetrics and neonatology; it is a Kids Clinic India Pvt Ltd division based in Bengaluru.

Access to approved prenatal and well-child care, baby and maternal mortality prevention, maternal and child mental health, newborn screening, child vaccines, child nutrition, and other services are part of what is known as mother and child health (MCH) initiatives. The term “neonatal” describes a baby during the first 28 days of life. Specialised nurseries or intensive care units for newborns (also known as neonatal care) have been established since the 1960s. In 2007, Cloudnine was formed by Dr R. Kishore Kumar and his three co-founders to provide care to infants and their mothers.

“Quality maternal care was our first emphasis; we knew that almost 180 moms per 1000 died during labour and delivery. Many more were becoming infected, experiencing pelvic floor injury, and having trouble nursing. Hospital birthing mothers received NO attention from anybody other than medical professionals. We aimed to alter this pattern by providing comprehensive treatment, beginning with prenatal classes and continuing through postpartum services, including physiotherapy and breastfeeding help for mothers and infants to decrease maternal and infant morbidity and pelvic floor injury, respectively,” says Dr Kishore, speaking about their motivation for starting the Cloudnine.

Cloudnine focuses on three things:

  • Comprehensive Care for mothers and babies.
  • Celebration of the birthing
  • Clinical Excellence – with a focus on saving smaller and smaller babies and babies with complicated problems too.

The brand building took about 4 to 5 years after starting the company, and the founder points out a few reasons why he thinks the company succeeded:

  • “We maintained uniformly high levels of medical treatment 24/7.
  • Our facilities were much better than those already in place; they did not look, feel, or smell like a hospital but rather like a five-star hotel, and they had everything a new mother and her infant might need to have a pleasant and safe experience.
  • We were honest about our prices and responded quickly and effectively to comments and suggestions for improving our services.
  • From day one, our medical practices were up to par with those of other developed countries.
  • Cloudnine ensured that each location adhered to the same high standards. The leaders put a premium on upholding the company’s established values. They have an “induction” course, emphasising it from the ground up and ensuring everyone at the firm knows it.”

Most outstanding achievements by Cloudnine Hospitals

Cloudnine emerged as the most innovative Maternal care facility. Some of its key achievements are listed:

  • At six weeks postnatal, Cloudnine’s breastfeeding success rate is 95% (compared to 46% nationally), thanks to the 24/7 lactation care the units provide for new moms.
  • All newborns are breastfed within the first half an hour of life.
  • Despite having 24 locations throughout India, Cloudnine has maintained a maternal mortality rate of less than 10 per cent over the last ten years.
  • India has the world’s best record for saving premature infants.
  • Cloudnine’s results are on par with the developed world, and it is the only hospital group in Asia to be a member of VON (Vermont Oxford Network) for the last three years.
  • Infection rates are much lower than 0.3 per cent (even though 2 per cent is considered tolerable by WHO).
  • Since its inception 16 years ago, Cloudnine has been the first hospital system to mandate newborn screening for hearing and metabolic abnormalities.
  • Cloudnine received Best Maternity and Newborn Care Hospital by Brands Academy and NDTV for five years in a row, beginning in 2010 through to 2015 and many others.
  • Awarded Australian Service Excellence Award in 2010 for wonderful services.
  • Listed in Forbes Magazine - as one of the “12 businesses” to watch out for growth in 2011.
  • Awarded Leaders award by Economic Times in 2012 for our leadership in Women & Child care in India.
  • Won “Dr S.S. Manchanda Neonatology Research Award Paper” in Pedicon 2012 for presenting: “A comparison of alternative risk assessment strategies for predicting significant neonatal hyperbilirubinaemia in late preterm, term & post-term infants. Is predischarge bilirubin required for all?” on the EVE of Cloudnine’s 5th anniversary (Jan 20, 2012).
  • Mother Theresa Excellence Award received from Integrated Council for Socio-Economic Progress in recognition of praiseworthy services, excellent performance and memorable contribution to the overall progress of the society – received in Bangalore on Nov 25 2012.
  • Issued by Fast Company as one of India’s ten most innovative companies in Jan 2012.
  • Talent and Leadership Award issued by ET Now in Jan 2013.
  • Pride of Karnataka Award in June 2015, Bangalore, India
  • Cloudnine was selected as a case study for management success to the trainees in IIM-B, Bangalore, India and Cleveland University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA, in 2018.
  • Received Times of India – Legends Award in Paediatrics in Dec 2018
  • Great Place to Work Award 2020 – Cloudnine. GPTW in March 2021.

Sailing through the Sea of Challenges

Cloudnine faced several challenges on its path to success. Some of the biggest challenges are as follows:

  • Human Resources

Due to the unique difficulties faced by the healthcare and hospitality industries, educating all employees on the company’s core principles and mission took time.

  • Finances

It was difficult initially because no one believed that a hospital dedicated only to caring for mothers and newborns would be financially successful. However, Cloudnine eventually persuaded private equity investors, and today many hospitals have followed in their footsteps.

  • Technology

In 2006 when Cloudnine began, India lacked the sophisticated maternity and newborn care equipment needed, so the group had to acquire numerous tools from other countries at great expense.

  • Infrastructure

The leaders’ vision to create Cloudnine facilities that do not look, feel and smell like a  hospital be converted into reality took a lot of effort & supervision.

  • Covid 19 pandemic

Even though Covid impacted Cloudnine like everyone else, the group managed to keep morale up via team motivation, rewards, patriotism, and other factors. Briefly:

  • Unlike many other hospitals, Cloudnine kept everyone on full pay throughout the epidemic.
  • Cloudnine guaranteed and supplied all safety and precautionary measures - such as N95 masks, Gowns, and protective clothing - at the hospital’s expense as needed.
  • In the event of illness, Cloudnine treated everyone, regardless of whether or not they had health insurance, at no cost to them. The family would not have to pay anything out of pocket if they were ill.
  • Since several Cloudnine workers were ill, the group urged them to come in and reimbursed those who did so for their additional hours.
  • Furthermore, Cloudnine maintained spirits by offering awards and prizes to motivate the team.

Leading by Example: Dr R. Kishore Kumar

Dr R. Kishore Kumar’s approach to leadership is flexible; they take cues mostly from Lord Rama, who famously led his army of vanaraas by example.

Unlike most other hospitals, which only provide medical treatment, we provide a whole spectrum of services for mothers and newborns. We go the additional mile to guarantee “that our idea that pregnancy is a wellness and not a disease” holds true and that mothers can bounce back quickly and easily after giving birth. With this, the company can differentiate itself from its rivals.

“Simply put, I like my work because I do not see it as work at all. I have no trouble with it since it is my calling, and I take pleasure in the joy I provide to the parents of even the sickest or most preterm infants. When we save a woman from a challenging pregnancy and delivery, I get a kick out of witnessing the relief on her family’s face. Ultimately, it is all worth it for your sense of accomplishment,” adds Dr Kishore while sharing why he loves to do what he does.

Innovation and Future

“We place a premium on new ideas inside the firm. We have always contributed to the creative process in two ways: through our use of new technologies and our efforts to develop better business methods. For this, we rely heavily on technology,” says Dr Kishore while talking about the innovation focus of Cloudnine. The following are a few examples of this:

When Cloudnine was three years old as a company, traditional phototherapy had already been replaced by LED in most developed countries in a few months. Despite being a relatively new hospital chain, the group made the necessary adjustments, which reduced the average length of stay (ALOS) for a newborn from three days to one, which saved money, increased revenue, and freed up beds for everyone involved.

Cloudnine was the first to apply “techno-tracking” to monitor patients’ progress from registration to consultation, shortening the length of each step to less than 10 minutes and cutting lab investigations to under 15 minutes.

The group is a pioneer in Tele-NICU, having successfully launched trial projects. “We have now incorporated the technology into our portfolio to provide much-needed services to India’s rural and underserved regions via a network of 15 command centres. Compared to the competitors, we have a superior infrastructure by a long shot. We want to grow into many more areas over the next 12 to 18 months. We are increasing our Tele-NICU efforts to minister to the unreachable in India. More and more areas of medical practice are starting to include AI,” added Dr Kishore about the innovative measures at Cloudnine. 

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