Psychiatric hospital investigated over photos of patient

SEATTLE (AP) --  State and federal health regulators and a police department have launched an investigation at Washington state's largest psychiatric hospital after unauthorized photos of a patient were found on an employee's personal phone.

But the required notifications to police and the state were not immediately made, as required by law and hospital policy.

The photos were reportedly found on a nursing assistant's phone on Oct. 3, but the police were not notified until Oct. 11 and the Washington state Department of Health wasn't told until Oct. 24, according to documents reviewed by The Associated Press.

Western State Hospital CEO Cheryl Strange on Tuesday sent out an ``urgent reminder'' to all employees saying they must immediately report ``suspected patient abuse, neglect, abandonment, financial or sexual exploitation.''

The 800-bed facility in Lakewood, Washington, is already under scrutiny by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services over concerns about patient safety.