I’m Kate Dewhirst.

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

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

Category: FHTs


Health Privacy Update: New IPC Decision shows you may have to give access to your communications with HIROC

Posted by

Calling all Health Privacy Officers. You need to read the just  released PHIPA Decision 73 from the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. Bottom Line: This decision has an impact on all health care organizations in Ontario.  Communications with your insurer, such as HIROC, may be accessible through PHIPA access requests. This is not your run… Read more »


It is May 25th. What is the GDPR and should you care if you are a health sector organization in Ontario?

Posted by

Disclaimer: I’m not a GDPR expert by any stretch of the imagination.   GDPR stands for the General Data Protection Regulation – it came into force today – May 25, 2018. It provides new protections for citizens of the European Union.  Here is a great website with videos and text to explain it. You may be wondering… Read more »


Health Privacy Update: New Health Privacy Decision 72 – Correction Request

Posted by

IPC just released Decision 72 It’s another correction request. The IPC decided not to review the complaint. The medical clinic did not have to make the correction. A medical clinic received a correction request asking that a specific reference prepared by a physician be removed. The author physician had died. The clinic refused the request…. Read more »



Hmmmm. If your head tilts when you read a new email – don’t open it!

Posted by

Ransomware and phishing attacks are rampant in health care. Ever get an email from a bank you don’t use saying your account has been compromised? Ever get a message from a company with whom you do business saying “Click on this link to update your profile”? But you think to yourself, hmmmm, that’s weird, I… Read more »


Ever wonder what patient information you are supposed to share with insurance companies?

Posted by

One of the top 5 questions I get asked when I do privacy training in primary care offices is: What patient information am I supposed to share with an insurance company? It’s an every day reality that health care organizations receive release of information forms to send insurance companies information about patients.  The queries can… Read more »


Health Privacy Update: New health privacy decision 71

Posted by

The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario just released a new decision under the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004. In Decision 71,  a hospital received a correction request relating to four records (six pages) of information documented in the emergency room. The information was used by physicians to report the patient to the Ministry of Transportation… Read more »


Watch departing employees – what happens if they have health records at home?

Posted by

Decision 69 of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario was just released. A former hospital employee (registered health professional who was employed as a Research Coordinator) removed 15 health records, 36 research files and 2 data collection sheets from the hospital’s premises without authorization. The hospital notified police – although the hospital did not… Read more »


Training is your best weapon to guard against fraud – New privacy decision released every health care organization in Ontario needs to read

Posted by

Last Friday, the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario released two new health privacy decisions. Decision 68 reads like a made for tv movie. It’s a doozy.  Hold on to your socks. The facts are complicated. I’ll try to simplify the back story. Back Story A patient complained that her former spouse (a physician) was… Read more »


What if she really doesn’t want to handle the truth? Nuanced discussion of how to inform patients of a terminal diagnosis

Posted by

This article in the Guardian, Should a doctor always disclose a terminal illness?, had me hopping at the title. Should a doctor always disclose a terminal illness? Absolutely yes.  Every time. Then I read the article.  It gave me pause. Doctors and other health care providers must be truthful and forthcoming.  But, it gave me pause… Read more »


Some of Kate’s recent and upcoming events

Board risk and statutory compliance

May 28, 2018

Kate teaches a FHT board how to meet their obligations in this evening session.

Team Privacy Training Events

May 30, June 6, June 12, June 19, August 30

For Primary Care clinics and FHTs

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

Primary care webinar: Marijuana in the workplace

June 7, 2018, 12 noon

Part of Kate’s monthly webinar series.

Changes in the law means changes in the workplace Kate and lawyer Maria McDonald discuss the outcomes for workplaces of new cannabis legislation.

Full details and registration here.

Primary care webinar: “I'm being harassed!”

September 6, 2018, 12 noon

Part of Kate’s monthly webinar series.

Kate and lawyer Maria McDonald discuss how to deal with harassment and harassment claims in the workplace.

Full details and registration here.

Privacy Officer training

October 2 through November 6, 2018

Kate’s next training course for Privacy Officers in health organizations.

Open to all health Privacy Officers, as well as those hoping to become Privacy Officers. Full details and registration here.

Advanced Privacy Officer training

November 13, 2018

For experienced Privacy Officers within healthcare organisations.

This one day training course focuses on how to handle difficult privacy situations using real-life (but anonymized) case studies and role-play.

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.

Subscribe to my mailing list and keep up to date with news:

Latest Tweets

The public knows very little about the tangled web relationship between hospitals, physicians, and other profession… https://t.co/xvUMqdFozV

2 minutes ago

[EARLY BIRD PRICE] Enrol for my 16-hour Privacy Officer training, starts Oct 2 - join 7500+ people and 200+ organiz… https://t.co/OdUm9zU3Pr

about 4 hours ago


contact details

901 King Street West Suite 400 East Tower
Toronto Ontario M5V 3H5

(416) 855 9557