JAMESTOWN, N.D. — The North Dakota State Hospital now has been found to be in compliance by the accrediting body for hospitals, which earlier had found multiple deficiencies in areas including suicide prevention and oversight of patient restraint and seclusion.
The Joint Commission, the accrediting body for hospitals, determined that the state hospital, located in Jamestown, has no requirements for improvement following a site visit on Tuesday, June 4.
Rosalie Etherington, the state hospital’s superintendent, sent an email to The Forum saying the hospital now is in full compliance and attached the site visit report. Etherington was unavailable for comment Tuesday afternoon.
In March, a survey team for The Joint Commission issued a preliminary denial of accreditation for the hospital’s inpatient service because of multiple deficiencies.
As of last week, most of those deficiencies had been addressed, Etherington said earlier, and she expected the rest to be addressed in the follow-up visit that occurred Tuesday.
Most of the deficiencies stemmed from new standards that recently took effect involving suicide prevention measures for an area of the hospital called “intensive care,” which serves a small number of patients who pose a risk to themselves or others, Etherington said earlier.
The new standards, called “anti-ligature” measures, are intended to prevent patients from hanging themselves. Door knobs that for years were considered safe, for example, recently were deemed no longer acceptable.
Also, the accreditation surveyors thought the state hospital was secluding patients unnecessarily, Etherington has said, though added that people were not locked in rooms.
The state hospital provides inpatient psychiatric care for 90 to 100 patients at a time, and also provides residential treatment for another 100 to 120 sex offenders and patients with substance use disorder.
An interim legislative study will develop a statewide plan to address acute psychiatric and residential care needs, and will include a determination of the size and use of the state hospital.
During the 2019 legislative session, lawmakers rejected a proposal by Gov. Doug Burgum to build a new state hospital, and decided instead to study the hospital and options for delivering psychiatric care.