Viable Med Services, Inc. is about to celebrate its fourth birthday this August. Dan McGuan
, President, started the company from his kitchen in Los Angeles after 15 years with Hitachi Medical Systems in field service, R&D and technical support.
McGuan saw Viable Med as filling a need in Hitachi-trained service providers for the U.S. installed base of open MRI systems. In the service business since 1980, he also wanted to provide what he had learned over the years--a philosophy of meeting customer needs. These include maximizing and maintaining image quality and system performance, all with minimal disruption of patient schedules.
"At the beginning we were on the road all the time, building our customer base, and delivering the old-school message," McGuan says. Since then Viable Med has grown to have a national presence, featuring three parts warehouses and two offices across the county.
"We like to think of ourselves as the number one alternative to OEM service, and we will continue to do what must be done to earn this title," he says.
Viable Med provides open MRI services for Hitachi's highly successful MRI products, including Hitachi's MRP, AIRIS I and II, Elite and Altaire product lines, on which Viable is industry- and peer-ranked as experts. In addition, McGuan says Viable maintains the largest after-market parts inventory for Hitachi MRIs available worldwide.
McGuan explains, "In today's ever-changing health care environment, new customer requirements emerge daily. Viable Med listens to these needs and then positions itself to provide cutting-edge service solutions to drive customers' strategic growth, while always maintaining excellence in patient care."
McGuan at the company's
exhibit at last year's
Most of Viable's staff of service professionals have 20 to 30 years in the industry. McGuan points out that Viable also has staff experts on Toshiba MRI, and CTI and Siemens PET systems. The company has recently expanded into the Siemens high-field MRI market. All of the technical specialists are experienced field service engineers and manufacturer-trained.
The majority of Viable's client base is domestic however they also keep strategic service alliances with specific partners in Armenia, India, Italy and Australia and provide a growing parts sales business to the international market.
Problem solving is important, too. McGuan has had new clients approach the company seeking a workable alternative to their service arrangements. "More than once," McGuan says, "I've heard that they simply can't survive in their current situations. Almost all new customers are ready for a change either due to the OEMs or the current economic environment. We feel we have to be ready for those changes, to work with the operators and clinicians and adapt with them."
With customers experiencing declining imaging reimbursement rates and turmoil over health care reform, a fine balance must be maintained between providing patients with the highest level of diagnostic services while keeping costs under control. "We try to find the right match of services that will help a client and his local health care community keep their practices alive and, yes, viable."
Behind the scenes, Viable's engineers, recommendations from customers and peers, hard work and a policy of putting the customer first are the keys to success for the company.
Viable Med has been in the DOTmed 100 in 2007, 2008, and now 2009. McGuan says for Viable, being a DOTmed 100 company is a great honor. "Out of all of Viable Med's accomplishments, this was the biggest. It says who we truly are," he says.