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


Talking conflict on a FHT board

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Family health teams are interesting creations.  What are they?  Multi-disciplinary teams providing primary care services to communities across Ontario. A new theme for family health teams is moving from physician-led boards to community or mixed governance and skills-based boards. One of the driving reasons for this change is to deal with potential conflicts of interest… Read more »


TedTalks your health care team can watch about privacy

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Are you a Privacy Officer for a health care organization and do you struggle to find interesting videos to keep privacy top of mind for your team? Here are fiveTedTalks that you and your team might find interesting: Why privacy matters – have you heard the phrase “If you aren’t doing anything wrong – you should… Read more »


Health Privacy Update – May 2017

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On May 3rd, the Information and Privacy Commissioner and his team was in Thunder Bay. He released a new presentation He receives between 300-350 health privacy complaints annually He talked about the new social worker prosecution He reminded the audience about the new Code of Procedures for health privacy cases with his office He also mentioned… Read more »


What’s new in health privacy – March 2017

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Trying to keep up with all that is happening in health privacy these days?  It’s busy! Here are five updates Ontario health care organizations should know: 1. IPC just notified the public about a new snooping prosecution.  A student at a family health team was fined $25,000 for a privacy breach involving 139 patients (she… Read more »


What are the 3 legal questions every clinician should know how to answer?

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If you are a practicing clinician (nurse, doctor, dentist, midwife, psychologist, OT, PT, social worker etc.) there are three legal questions you should be able to answer: What laws apply to you? Who makes treatment and information decisions for your patients? What are your patients’ privacy rights? I recently spoke at the Hamilton Health Sciences “Ethics… Read more »


What does a FHT Board member need to know about risk and statutory compliance?

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Hello?  Are you still there? This is not the most exciting topic in the universe – I know. But, it is really important. Risks There are 6 types of risk you need to be monitoring as Board members of a family health team: Clinical Financial Human Strategic Legal/Regulatory Technological Your Executive Director or Administrator needs… Read more »


Managing difficult employees – 6 minute video

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Maria McDonald of McDonald Human Resources Law and I just did a webinar on “Managing difficult employees and how to terminate employment with compassion” for a group of family health teams. Watch this 6-minute video to learn some tips from Maria when dealing with performance management. Interested in joining our Legal Issues for Family Health Teams… Read more »


What is new in health privacy in Ontario?

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In 2016 we saw changes to health privacy legislation in Ontario.  There were significant developments in health privacy litigation and additional certifications of class actions for health privacy breaches.  There were at least two physicians in Ontario who had their licenses to practice suspended for snooping in health records and at least two nurses faced… Read more »


January is the time for your annual “Privacy Reminder”

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Happy new year! If you are a health care Privacy Officer, January is a great time to remind your organization about privacy. By sending out an annual privacy email or privacy update in a newsletter – you keep privacy top of mind for your teams and you have something tangible to show your organization’s commitment… Read more »


Nurse’s personal comments on Facebook and Twitter constitute “Professional Misconduct”: what do family health teams need to know about social media and the law?

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Last week I presented with Maria McDonald on “Social Media and the Law” and issues family health teams need to consider. Then on Friday December 3rd the CBC reported on a nurse being found guilty of professional misconduct in Saskatchewan for personal comments she made on Facebook and Twitter about care received by her grandfather…. 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 12, 19, 26, May 3, 10, 17, 24 2021

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 2021

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.

Team Privacy Training Events
March 24, 25, 31 and April 6, 8, 22, 28

For Primary Care clinics, Hospitals, Community Agencies, Public Health Units, Schools, Police departments

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

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

Part of Kate’s monthly webinar series.

Our April program will address how to run a meeting and in May we discuss the legal pit of doom in having your employees also as your patients.
Full details of the 2021 webinar series and registration here.

Part X CYFSA Privacy Designate Course - video course online

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

We focus on how to implement Part X of the Child Youth and Family Services Act in your organization.
Full details and registration here.

Osgoode Health Law Certificate

Kate is presenting at the Osgoode Health Law Certificate on March 11 on Privacy Issues

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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Latest Tweets

[JUNE 3 – WEBINAR SERIES] Risk registers - How should you be reporting on risk Register now:… https://t.co/k23RggybUh

about 12 hours ago


[JUNE 2] Register for my free upcoming Ask Me Anything About Health Privacy webinar at this link...… https://t.co/16pQCRvuMn

01:01 PM May 11th

contact details

P.O. Box 97010 Roncesvalles
Toronto Ontario M6R 3B3

(416) 855 9557

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