Alla Anastos, Dental Director, U.S. Dental Care, Moscow:
What would say are your clinic’s major competitive advantages over its direct competitors in the industry?
Our key competitive advantages are safety, comprehensive treatment plan, ensuring our doctors continue their education and training and maintaining a cordial relationship with our patients. For us, one of the most important things is safety. Unlike in most local clinics, where there is lack of effective infection control, we adhere strictly to the U.S. standards on safety, which envisages taking universal precaution. This means that everything with a patient is treated as ‘potentially contagious,’ and consequently, all the necessary measures are taken to ensure everybody’s safety — of the patient, other clients and the staff. It might sound unbelievable, but most of those fanciful clinics out there ignore the most basic sanitary rules as most of the equipment etc., are not being sterilized as they are supposed to.
How do your foreign education and regular courses abroad impact on your clinic’s practice, and consequently, its competition capability?
Yes, I do travel a lot and take lots of courses and when I come back I pass this knowledge on to my Russian doctors. In terms of training, our Russian doctors have all completed the U.S. Dental Care “American Dental Residency Program” following their graduation from Moscow institutes and they are actively encouraged to attend continuing education courses. Personally, I have been opportune to meet and work with the best dentists in the world, those who wrote all the books on dentistry and are well-known throughout the industry. For instance, one of these ‘big names’ in global dentistry was here to work for us in the clinic. Also, as soon as the latest technologies in dentistry appear in the United States or elsewhere, they are instantly brought to our clinic. Since we have been on the market for a long time, our clinic and the atmosphere have become something like ‘a family’ to our patients, which is very important, especially given the fact that going to a dentist is not a very pleasant experience for most people. We attribute this to our friendly attitude in the clinic. So, when you talk about the level of education and quality of services, there are very few clinics that are comparable to us. Here, of course, I’m not talking about outward appearances, but about the quality of services available to patients.
For the purpose of comparative analysis, how, in your expert opinion, does the current Russian healthcare services market compares to that of the United States or European Union?
Generally speaking, the Russian healthcare services market is still very far from the situation in the United States, and the quality of services on the local market is also currently not comparable to what is obtainable abroad. For instance, once I decided to take a look at what is also going on here in Russian dentistry. So, I took some courses just to feel the market, but what I saw was a bit scary, as this differs from my personal experience and what I see in my regular trips abroad. For example, there are some lecturers giving the message that certain things are really easy to do, that one needs to only take some courses and go out and try their newly acquired skills and knowledge on live patients. Locally trained dentists really try these things on their patients. The approach abroad is quite the opposite, as one needs to go through rigorous school, sit for and pass all the mandatory licensing examinations before going to treat patients. This is the major difference between the Russian and U.S. systems. I’m in a position to compare these two systems because I had Russian education before going for further studies in the United States.