Billings Gazette, Mont.
Health care is changing quickly. It’s becoming available to more people, and more people are being proactive in improving and maintaining their health.
It’s also getting more expensive and impersonal.
Buffy Stiles understood that when she opened her Picture Perfect Ultrasound office three years ago.
“Current consumers are looking for patient-centered, quality, value-based health care,” said Stiles, a longtime sonographer. “Opening an outpatient imaging center allowed me to provide quality ultrasound imaging in a more comfortable, patient-centered setting.”
Picture Perfect Ultrasound is in Alpine Village Suite 21 at 1216 16th St. W. in Billings and may be reached at 406-969-4340 or through its website, www.PicturePerfectUltrasound.com.
Here’s what else Stiles had to say about finding her place in the rapidly changing health care field:
Nature of the business:
Picture Perfect Ultrasound is a licensed, outpatient ultrasound imaging center performing diagnostic-medical ultrasounds for men, women and children. In addition, our mobile ultrasound unit is used for off-site medical imaging needs. We participate in corporate and community wellness screening programs, providing ultrasound imaging screening exams. We also offer expectant families gender-reveal ultrasounds, as well as 3D-4D ultrasounds for pregnancy.
Where did startup funding come from?
Personal funds and a small-business loan.
How long have you been in business?
Picture Perfect Ultrasound has been open for three years. However, I have 20 years of continual experience as a diagnostic medical sonographer.
Your biggest challenge during the current recession?
Community medical needs remain constant, so we haven’t noticed negative effects from a current recession. Our biggest challenge is public awareness. Given our creativity in choosing a unique name; i.e. Picture Perfect Ultrasound, our challenge has been to educate the public and medical providers that we are not a “pregnancy clinic,” but rather a comprehensive outpatient imaging center that specializes in all aspects of ultrasound for men, women and children.
What was done to overcome those challenges?
We have been networking with medical referring providers to educate about the diagnostic imaging services we provide. Establishing an excellent rapport with other medical providers, medical campuses and staff has been essential. Advertising and marketing have also been helpful to increase community awareness. Word-of-mouth referrals have also been a huge component to our success.
What is being done to expand the business?
We continue to work with referring providers and medical centers to keep Picture Perfect Ultrasound top of mind for same-day imaging needs or future scheduled appointments. Patients don’t have to wait days or weeks to get their medical ultrasound performed. We remain credentialed with Medicare, Medicaid and insurance companies, which keeps us in-network and a viable option for referrals. Accepting self-pay patients and keeping our pricing affordable are also important to expanding our business model.
Your best business decisions?
Collaborating with a local, experienced group of physicians (radiologists) who interpret all of our medical ultrasounds has been instrumental to our credibility and quality same-day results. Choosing state-of-the-art ultrasound equipment has also been essential to our commitment to quality ultrasound imaging. Creating a custom website and being active on social media has created an online presence that has broadened our network and brought community awareness.
Your worst business mistake?
Being overzealous on office space needs.
What advice do you have for someone running a business?
Provide excellent customer service. Word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied customers are the best way to grow a healthy business. If a person is happy with the service or care you provide, they are more likely to tell their friends and family about your business.
Number of workers?
What’s your five-year plan for the business?
We will continue to provide quality diagnostic-medical ultrasound imaging in an outpatient setting. Increasing patient access to ultrasound, while improving patient care, continues to be our top priority. We look forward to networking and forming connections within our medical community that bring value to the patient care model we strive for. The future in health care will be improving patient access, meeting the needs of both inpatient and outpatient care. We hope for the opportunity to expand care by collaborating with one of the larger medical facilities.
If you weren’t doing what you are now, what would be your dream job?
I would love to be paid to travel the world as a undercover critic or secret guest; critiquing hotels/resorts, restaurants and spas worldwide.