ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) — The man who fatally shot a sheriff's deputy at a Minnesota hospital last month was never evaluated by a psychiatrist, despite making declarations that he was going to kill himself and any man who came into his room, according to a federal report.
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services also said in its review, which was publicly released Monday, that the St. Cloud Hospital patient was placed on a 72-hour hold by a physician assistant rather than a physician and was not monitored by the psychiatric department while at the hospital.
"The hospital's failure to provide direct psychiatric care to the patient ... resulted in the patient's ability to obtain and engage the firearm of a peace officer," the report said.
Hospital security officers used a stun gun to subdue the patient, 50-year-old Danny Hammond, and he later died.
The review prompted the hospital to update its policies and training in recent weeks, the St. Cloud Times (http://on.sctimes.com/1WN5yZi) reported.
According to the report, Hammond, of Aitkin, was airlifted to the hospital on Oct. 12 after trying to kill himself with an intentional overdose. Hammond was suspected of attacking his wife a week earlier. The hospital obtained the services of Aitkin County officers to monitor Hammond in his hospital room.
Hammond came out of a coma on Oct. 15 and immediately began trying to kill himself using a pillow, the report said. He was "actively suicidal" all three days on the unit and said he would kill any man who came into his room, the report said.
There is no evidence the hospital provided any psychiatric service for Hammond after Oct. 16, and he was not evaluated by a psychiatrist, the report said.
Two days later, Hammond took the gun from Aitkin County Sheriff's Deputy Steven Sandberg and fatally shot him.
In response to the report, the hospital submitted a plan of correction updating its policies and training. According to the document, the hospital will provide training for staff reinforcing requirements that 72-hour holds can be ordered only by physicians, and that psychiatric consultations and treatment must continue until such holds are lifted. The attending physician and psychiatric provider must agree that services or treatment are no longer necessary.
St. Cloud Hospital President Craig Broman said in a statement released late Monday that the hospital has "been asked to refrain from commenting on specifics related to the tragic incident."
He said he looks forward to providing a "comprehensive review for the public when we are in a position to do so" and he asked that the community to trust that the hospital was safe.
The hospital, which was initially placed under "immediate jeopardy" status as a participant of the federal Medicare program, had that status lifted on Friday. But the hospital remains under "condition-level noncompliance."
Information from: St. Cloud Times, http://www.sctimes.com