The next step for Elite Dental Partners: Measuring quality

Dental service organizations continue to dominate the industry, making it difficult to stand out. With new players entering the market routinely, it's important for executives to remain adaptable and forward thinking.

Scott Kalniz, DDS, the former CEO of Chicago-based Elite Dental Partners, has more than 20 years of experience in the dental industry. As a dental veteran, Dr. Kalniz has seen the rise in DSOs, and also knows what it takes to stand out.

Below, Dr. Kalniz explains how Elite Dental Partners has grown to support more than 110 practices across the U.S., as well as the organization's future plans.

Editor's note: Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Question: How do you best compete against other large and growing DSOs?
Dr. Scott Kalniz: As a doctor-led organization, we compete against other DSOs because we know exactly the kind of support doctors want and need. Conversely, we know what they don’t want and don’t need. We call Elite a dentist support organization. Our mission is to improve patient care by improving the lives of our doctors and their teams. We provide the support and the tools our doctors need to provide Elite care to their patients.

Q: What do you do as a leader to encourage employees that in turn leads to organization-wide success?
SK: My main job as a leader is live our mission and vision every day. Our name Elite embodies what we are trying to do every day: elite patient care, elite support, elite work/life balance, elite education and elite innovation. This is our virtuous vision. Having the leadership team live this daily sets a great example for the rest of the team to follow. We speak about our mission and vision before every meeting, and this guides how we make decisions. The organization sees this and follows our lead.

Q: Looking ahead 10 years, what are you doing to stay ahead of the competition and market?
SK: If we stick to our core values, mission and vision, we will lead the DSO space. We live in a very competitive world, and it takes focus to realize your goals. We continuously look for better and more efficient ways to improve our support and patient care, and work closely with our industry partner, Henry Schein, to create a seamless experience for our doctors.

Measuring quality is a big push for Elite. Dentistry does not currently have a way to measure quality. We are looking to change that. Imagine being able to show empirical data that says going to an Elite practice provides a better outcome. It will elevate dentistry as a whole with Elite being at the forefront of the movement towards measuring and improving quality care. Patients want quality, affordability and convenience for their medical care. We are driving towards being the leader in every one of those categories.

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