I’m Kate Dewhirst.

My team and I write about legal issues affecting healthcare in Canada.

Kate Dewhirst Health Law - bringing the law to life. Meet Kate (in 13 seconds)

IPC Annual Report 2021

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Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner (Patricia Kosseim) has released her 2021 annual report. The report reflects on the shift towards an increasingly digital society over the course of the past year and describes the IPC’s role in protecting people’s privacy while supporting innovation in our province. In addition to reporting on the IPC’s adjudication of… Read more »



Documenting Quality of Care and Risk Management Activities

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IPC decision 177 is a companion decision to IPC Decision 176. Both decisions centre around the shared records of two hospitals who provided care to a patient prior to his death by suicide. See the take-aways from Decision 166 here. The patient’s father filed a complaint with the IPC after reviewing an audit of his… Read more »


Sharing EMR Credentials — A Cautionary Tale

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The Information and Privacy Commissioner has released Decision 176, which speaks to the use of electronic medical record (EMR) credentials by individuals other than the authorized user. The decision arose after the father of a patient asked for an audit of his son’s hospital records, following his son’s death by suicide. The records were located… Read more »


Hiring! We are looking for a new Office Magician – is that you?

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Full-Time Office Magician – Come Join our Admin Team! We are excited to recruit an additional administrative member who is eager to showcase their ability to support, collaborate and grow within an entrepreneurial team. This is a full-time position with benefits. Salary will be negotiated depending on experience.   Please submit a PDF resume and cover… Read more »


How much is enough: meeting the threshold for the tort of intrusion upon seclusion

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On March 24, 2022, the Ontario Divisional Court released its decision in Stewart v Demme (2022 ONSC 1790), a class action case against William Osler Health System and one of its ex-nurses (Demme). The case deals with the tort of intrusion upon seclusion, which is a claim that can be advanced by individuals affected by… Read more »


PHIPA being changed to acknowledge Ontario Health Teams!!!

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Oh happy day! I’ll admit, I have been moping around for awhile. All the usual reasons why – but I’ve been moping. TODAY I WAS EXCITED! Our Personal Health Information Protection Act is going to be amended to acknowledge the role of Ontario Health Teams. See Schedule 4 of Bill 106 or read on! Ontario… Read more »


International Women’s Day 2022 — Recognizing the women of Kate Dewhirst Health Law

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International Women’s Day is a global effort to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It is celebrated annually on March 8. This year’s theme (#BreakTheBias) is focussed on eliminating stereotypes and discrimination to achieve gender equality and encourage a world that is diverse, inclusive, and where differences are valued and celebrated…. Read more »


Check-ins: The Importance of Performance Reviews to the Hospital Credentialing Process

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Physicians (as well as dentists, midwives and some NPs) working at hospitals in Ontario must undergo an annual credentialing process to receive privileges.  The initial application process to consider a new physician brings with it the highest levels of scrutiny. Subsequent renewals of physician privileges are perceived as more of a formality and sometimes even… Read more »



Some of Kate’s recent and upcoming events

Free healthcare privacy webinar - ask me anything!
the first Wednesday of every month

Free webinars - advance registration needed

Whether you're an experienced privacy officer or new in the field, pick Kate’s brain for free for an hour, in this live webinar. No charge, but you’ll need to register in advance.

Health Privacy Officer Foundations training
April 13, 20, 27, May 4, 11, 18, 25 2022 Coming Soon: Fall 2022 Next Program

For Privacy Officers within healthcare organizations.

This course focuses on how to become a more confident privacy officer and gives you the tools to document your privacy program. Full details and registration here...

Join the Shush: a collective of health privacy officers
Annual membership 2022

For Privacy Officers within healthcare organizations

This is an annual membership program that takes theory into practice and tackles real life scenarios to build Privacy Officer skills.
Full details and registration here.

Primary care webinars: Employment Law Update & Legal Issues for EDs and Board members

Part of Kate’s monthly webinar series.

Our May program will address progressive discipline and in June we discuss the key responsibilities Boards need to know in primary care.
Full details of the 2022 webinar series and registration here.

Team Privacy Training Events
May 2, 9, 26, 27

For Primary Care clinics, Hospitals, Community Agencies, Mental Health Teams, Public Health Units, School Boards, Police departments

Kate trains health professionals from many more health care organizations how being privacy-respectful can improve therapeutic relationships. More details...

Ontario Hospital Association Professional Staff Credentialing Toolkit

2nd Edition is now available for managing physicians, dentists, midwives and nurse practitioners in hospitals Read here...

Free summary of all PHIPA IPC decisions

Want to read privacy breach stories to learn how to improve your work? We have summarized all the Information and Privacy Commissioner's health privacy decisions for you Download here...

Kate Dewhirst Health Law

Kate says:

My mission is bringing the law to life. I make legal theory understandable, accessible and fun! I’m available and love to work for all organizations in the healthcare sector across Ontario and beyond.

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Toronto Ontario M6R 3B3

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