Incisive CT Scanner gives rural hospital a competitive edge

Customer story ∙ By Philips Healthcare ∙ Featuring Iron County Medical Center ∙ Oct 17, 2022 ∙ 7 min read

Customer story


As other rural hospitals struggled to operate during the Covid-19 pandemic, Iron County Medical Center found a way to maximize scan volume and add new clinical capabilities to their radiology department. Learn how upgrading to Philips Incisive CT helped Iron County Medical Center stay in step with innovation and gave them a competitive edge.


It’s estimated that in the United States, 46% of rural hospitals are operating in the red and at least 450 are at risk of closing.1 One exception is Iron County Medical Center, a 15-bed critical access hospital in Pine Knob, Missouri that, according to Erika Griggs, Director of Radiology, treats “very sick people”. Iron County has been able to meet the needs of its community and then some by offering advanced imaging for CT angiograms (CTAs) and pulmonary embolisms (PEs). Until now, those types of scans were something residents would have had to travel up to 45 minutes to receive from larger hospitals.

Rural hospital

Upgrading to a 128-slice CT scanner without missing a beat

To keep up with the needs of its patient population, Griggs said she knew that it was time to upgrade their GE BrightSpeed CT 16-slice system. COVID-19 relief funds covered the entire cost of the upgrade, allowing Iron County Medical Center to make the move from GE to Philips and from a 16-slice to a 128-slice capability earlier than anticipated.

When comparing three competitor systems, Griggs says Philips Tube for Life guarantee2 stood out to her immediately. This industry-first commitment will replace the Incisive CT scanner's X-ray tube at no additional cost throughout the entire life of the system, potentially lowering operating expenses by an estimated $420,000.3 A lower cost of ownership was just one of the operational efficiencies that appealed to Griggs. Her team also noticed improved workflow and throughput.

Upgrading ct scanner

“We had looked at demos for Siemens, Philips and GE. For us, Philips was very honest with their price points. When they watched the demos, they [the staff] were most excited about the Philips machine."

Erika Griggs, BS, RT(R), RDMS, RDCS

Director of Radiology, Iron County Medical Center

Enhanced workflow, increased volume and fast scans

A streamlined workflow has also helped Iron County Medical Center become more efficient and productive. The technicians were nervous about making the jump to a more innovative and advanced system, but Griggs says the transition was easy. “The ability to switch from the GE [CT] to the Philips [CT] wasn’t hard for our techs because it is so user friendly; I think that’s huge. The workflow was really easy for us to switch over to with the platform.” 

Enhanced workflow

Griggs notes that before Incisive CT, Iron County Medical Center averaged less than 90 scans a month, or around three per day. Now they average 120 scans a month. That is a 30% increase* that comes without compromising image quality. Her team can utilize and automate workflows and maximize image quality, which helps reduce the number of rescans required and improves diagnostic confidence.

Maximized image quality

“Before with our other scanner, if we did multiple scans in a row, the image quality would be decreased, and you could see artifacts in the scan. Now we don’t have to worry about that. Our radiologists are much happier about it."

Erika Griggs, BS, RT(R), RDMS, RDCS

Director of Radiology, Iron County Medical Center

Improved image quality leads to enhanced clinical confidence

Griggs said that when the tube heated on their old scanner, the system developed noise and graininess that resulted in image degradation. That’s why artifact reduction and IQ consistency were so important to her.

"We were only performing basic CT scans. Our radiologists were not confident in doing CTA or PE scans. Now [with Incisive] we are doing CTAs because we have better visualization. We are even performing CTAs on our COVID-19 patients."

Erika Griggs, BS, RT(R), RDMS, RDCS

Director of Radiology, Iron County Medical Center

Advanced capabilities create more demand for services

With the addition of Incisive CT, Iron County Medical Center finally has the technology to do advanced imaging and fulfill a much-needed service in the community. The innovative features of Incisive CT allow the center to serve more diverse patient populations including elderly and anxious patients as well as those with higher BMIs.

"Being able to move your table from inside the control room after you’ve already centered it – and not having to redo everything outside – is awesome. We use that [feature] so much."

Erika Griggs, BS, RT(R), RDMS, RDCS

Director of Radiology, Iron County Medical Center

The OnPlan patient-side gantry controls provide extra comfort and peace of mind by allowing radiologists to spend more time at their side. And with a simplified and intuitive workflow directly from the scanner, waiting time for results decreased by 19%4, which means less time spent on the table for patients.

As she lists off the features that matter most to her staff, like the bariatric table and the crucial speed to scan, Griggs says the biggest benefit is being able to provide quality care right where they are.

"You don’t need to drive 45 minutes to get a CT scan. We have the same equipment as they do, or even better. We are now competing with the bigger hospitals with this scanner."

Erika Griggs, BS, RT(R), RDMS, RDCS

Director of Radiology, Iron County Medical Center

Doctor looking at the screen

Benefits achieved at Iron County Medical Center

  • Increased scan volume by 30%
  • Increased clinical confidence in radiologists
  • Expanded clinical capabilities to include CTA and PE scans and 3D reconstructions
  • Achieved image quality consistency and reduced artifacts
  • Lowered total cost of ownership with Tube for Life guarantee


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Results from case studies are not predictive of results in other cases. Results in other cases may vary.


[2] Life of the product is defined by Philips as 10 years. Tube for Life guarantee availability varies by country. Please contact your local Philips sales representative for details.

[3] Actual operating costs for customers vary significantly because many variables exist (such as CT make and model, hospital/imaging center size, case mix, and system usage). The potential savings identified estimates the avoidance of purchasing replacement tubes over a 10-year useful life of a CT system, based on an average selling price of $140,000 per replacement tube and estimated tube life of 3 years. There can be no guarantee that all customers will achieve this result.

[4] According to the definition of AI from the EU High-Level Expert Group. Based on a study performed at Oz Radiology Group, Queensland, Australia.

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