New CT scanner improves patient safety and expands services

Released: 06/29/16

Winneshiek Medical Center (WMC), with physician services by Mayo Clinic Health System, is dedicated to providing high-quality health care that’s close to home. As part of its commitment to putting the needs of patients first, WMC has upgraded its CT scanner in the radiology department.

WMC is proud to invest in the latest imaging technology to better serve area patients. “Our goal is to offer advanced technology with the quality of care our community deserves,” said Sarah Urmanski, Director of Radiology at WMC. “By upgrading our CT scanner, patients can receive high-quality exams without having to travel too far from home.”

A CT (computed tomography) scanner combines special X-ray technology with sophisticated computers to produce highly-detailed images of organs, bones, soft tissues and blood vessels. CT exams are regularly used by physicians to diagnose conditions such as trauma, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

The new scanner, a Siemens SOMATOM Definition AS+ 128-slice CT scanner, replaces a 16-slice system. This is a significant upgrade for the medical center, and it’s important; the more slices, the more detailed the image, and that helps physicians make a more accurate diagnosis.

Another area of improvement compared to the previous CT scanner is the Definition’s low-dose technology, which reduces radiation dose exposure by up to 60 percent*. “Everyone is exposed to natural radiation in daily life and radiation exposure is a concern for many patients,” said Urmanski. “Our new CT scanner has special applications to help reduce the amount of radiation a patient receives during an exam.”

In addition to improved patient safety and convenience, the new CT scanner has a larger gantry opening, which is often referred to as the ‘donut hole’ on the scanner. The scanner’s table accommodates patients who weigh up to 676 pounds—which will also help improve patient comfort.

A provider referral is required for a CT scan. WMC radiology is staffed by a full-time, on-site Mayo Clinic Health System radiologist, Richard Remark, M.D., and the department also offers MRI, bone density, fluoroscopy, digital mammography, ultrasound and nuclear medicine. To learn more about the new CT scanner or to set up an appointment with a Mayo Clinic Health System provider at WMC, call (563) 382–2911.

About WMC
Winneshiek Medical Center is a charitable nonprofit community hospital and clinic serving northeast Iowa and southeast Minnesota since 1914. As a community owned hospital, WMC is a lifelong community partner improving the health and well-being of those it serves through patient-centered collaboration. To learn more, visit

The Statements by Siemens’ customers described herein are based on results that were achieved in the customer’s unique setting. Since there is no “typical” hospital and many variables exist (e.g., hospital size, case mix, level of IT adoption) there can be no guarantee that other customers will achieve the same results.

*In clinical practice, the use of SAFIRE may reduce CT patient dose depending on the clinical task, patient size, anatomical location, and clinical practice. A consultation with a radiologist and a physicist should be made to determine the appropriate dose to obtain diagnostic image quality for the particular clinical task. The following test method was used to determine a 54 to 60% dose reduction when using the SAFIRE reconstruction software. Noise, CT numbers, homogeneity, low-contrast resolution and high-contrast resolution were assessed in a Gammex 438 phantom. Low-dose data reconstructed with SAFIRE showed the same image quality compared to full-dose data based on this test. Data on file.

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