I’m Kate Dewhirst.

I’m a lawyer who writes about legal issues affecting healthcare in Canada

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Right to know week – what do you need to know?

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Did you know it is “Right to Know Week“?

Right to Know Week is celebrated across Canada with events discussing privacy rights. It is a gathering of Canada’s Information and Privacy Commissioners and organizations and individuals who are interested in privacy.

In Canada, and Ontario for purposes of this blog, the right to know means that individuals have a right to know what information government organizations have about them.  It is about individuals having the power to make informed decisions about themselves by ensuring they have full information.

For Ontario’s healthcare providers this can mean two things:

  1. Under the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004, individuals have a right of access to their own personal health information held by a health information custodian; and
  2. There are a subset of healthcare organizations that are also subject to freedom of information laws (such as hospitals, public health units, and municipally run homes and services) where individuals have a right of access to their personal information and also have a right to ask for the organization’s general records.

Right to know is a key principle of privacy.  The right to know gets us beyond confidentiality and into democratizing information.

If you look at my free Summary of the IPC’s PHIPA Decisions, you will see that the vast majority of the privacy decisions addressed by our Information and Privacy Commissioner in Ontario have to do with access disputes. Meaning disputes between clients and healthcare providers about the client’s right to access their own information.  This is an important topic for healthcare organizations to understand.

The Right to Know Week events are free. More information here.

CALLING ALL HEALTH PRIVACY OFFICERS: Are you struggling with keeping up with the changing privacy laws and the meaning of privacy?  Do you want a jolt to enliven your privacy culture?  Join us for Advanced Privacy Officer training November 3.  Early bird pricing ends September 30!

 


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Previous and next posts from Kate:

Some of Kate’s recent and upcoming events

Health Privacy Officer training
September 22, 2020

For Privacy Officers within healthcare organizations - now totally online.

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...

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

Part of Kate’s monthly webinar series.

Our November program will address human rights issues with guest speaker Christine Hanson and scenarios.
Full details of the 2020 webinar series and registration here.

Advanced Health Privacy Officer training
November 3,2020

For Privacy Officers within healthcare organizations - now totally online

This course focuses on taking theory into practice and we do real life scenarios to build your Privacy Officer skills.
Full details and registration here.

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.

Team Privacy Training Events
October 22, 23, 26, 29, November 11, 12, 13, December 4

For Primary Care clinics, Hospitals, Community Agencies and Children’s Aid

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

Free Part X CYFSA privacy webinar - ask me anything!
the second Wednesday of every month

Free webinars - advance registration needed

Whether you're an experienced privacy designate 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.

Part X CYFSA Privacy Designate training
November 10 and 17

For Privacy Designates in the child welfare sector including children's aid societies and indigenous children's well-being centres

This course focuses on how to implement Part X of the Child Youth and Family Services Act in your organization.
Full details and registration 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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