ST. CLOUD, Minn. (WCCO) — A review of policy and procedures at St. Cloud Hospital says the suspect who shot and killed a sheriff’s deputy last month was not properly monitored.

The Federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued the report after finding St. Cloud Hospital out of compliance. The hospital was cited after patient Danny Hammond allegedly took a gun from Aitkin County Sheriff’s Investigator Steven Sandberg and fatally shot him.

The facility has to take steps needed to make sure St. Cloud Hospital keeps its accreditation.

On Oct. 18, there was a code blue on the fifth floor of St. Cloud Hospital. A psychiatric patient placed on a 72-hour hold got control of the gun of a sheriff deputy assigned to guard him, and shot and killed him.

The shooting prompted the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to investigate. It found the hospital was not in compliance.  CSM spent more than a week at the facility and cited St. Cloud hospital with both an immediate jeopardy and condition level non-compliance.

“Which means that we would have been in danger of losing federal reimbursement for the Medicare patients that we care for,” Jeanine Nistler, director of communications for St. Cloud hospital, said.

The report says the immediate jeopardy began when patient Danny Hammond told staff he was going to kill himself as soon as he got the chance as well as kill any male who came into his room. St. Cloud Hospital officials say the report led to it updating policies and training.

“Out of their visit we did develop an action plan which has been accepted and the steps are being implemented but we really can’t disclose the specifics of that plan,” Nistler said.

“The changes are good,” Minaida Tanda, a hospital employee, said.

Tanda works on the fifth floor, but was not working when the shooting happened.

She says everyone at the hospital had input into the new safety procedures now in place.

“We’re the ones working on the floor. They want to get our opinion of how we feel about it so I feel good that they asked us and emailed us about the situation,” Tanda said.

There are still some steps St. Cloud Hospital has to take in order to be in full compliance.

Another report will be issued in the near future, and the hospital will then have to come up with a plan of correction to deal with the remaining areas of non-compliance.

Reg Chapman

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