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: Health laws



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 »


Health Privacy Update: IPC issued new guidelines for disposing of electronic information

Posted by

The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario released new guidelines today for disposing of electronic media. These guidelines explain what it means to take “reasonable steps” to safeguard personal health information through secure destruction. The guidelines apply to all custodians under the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004.  That means you, health care providers and… Read more »


Wow. I wasn’t expecting that! Managing volatile situations in health care

Posted by

Health care organizations of all shapes and sizes deal with volatile situations involving patients (or clients or residents) and family members or caregivers. Remember this case from last year of the woman at a health clinic who was yelling racist comments about wanting to see a “white doctor” and getting increasingly angry that only “brown doctors with… Read more »


Health Privacy Update – November 2017 – 4 new decisions of the IPC

Posted by

The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario released four new PHIPA decisions today. These are relevant to any health care organization in Ontario. Read the summaries of all 60 IPC PHIPA Decisions here. Decision 57: A patient made an access request at a hospital. The patient wanted to know why he was being told by physicians at the… Read more »


Talking about risk and statutory compliance without scaring or boring your board

Posted by

If you are a CEO or ED of a healthcare organization, you need to talk to your board about risk. How do you do it without scaring them or boring them? You make risk real. You explain real situations that have happened to similar organizations. Here are a couple of pointers: Give them a risk architecture:… Read more »


New guidelines from IPC require Ontario’s healthcare organizations to start tracking privacy breaches in January 2018

Posted by

The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario released new guidelines that will come into effect March 2019 but require healthcare organizations to start tracking certain kinds of privacy breaches as of January 2018. Click here for the Annual Reporting of Privacy Breach Statistics to the Commissioner guidelines. Starting January 1st, Ontario’s healthcare organizations (all those who… Read more »



Health Privacy Update #2 – October 2017 – 2 new decisions of the IPC

Posted by

Last week the IPC issued two new decisions for health care organizations in Ontario. The first one has practical impact on group practices like family health teams. Group practices should proactively clarify who is the health information custodian  Decision 50 – This one will interest all family health teams and other group practices. It relates to… Read more »


Health Privacy Update – October 2017 – New IPC Privacy Breach Report Form for new required reporting as of October 1st

Posted by

The IPC has posted their new Privacy Breach Reporting Form online. This is what health care organizations will use to alert the IPC to reportable privacy breaches as described in my previous post   These requirements came into effect October 1st. Here’s a PDF version of the Privacy Breach Report Form.    


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 September program is on privacy litigation and the October program will address harassment issues and scenarios.
Full details of the 2020 webinar series and registration here.

Free healthcare privacy webinar - ask me anything!
the first Wednesday of every month (Off for the Summer - next up: September 2 and October 7)

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.

Free Part X CYFSA privacy webinar - ask me anything!
the second Wednesday of every month (next up: July 8 and August 12)

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
July 8, 23, 28 August 4, October 7, 8

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...

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

[OCT 1] Webinar Series Case Study: Harassment investigations Register now - webinars on legal topics for EDs and ma… https://t.co/lgZdYW7mt6

about 8 hours ago

[STARTS SEPT 22, 2020] Become an even better Privacy Officer! Join my health sector online Privacy Officer training… https://t.co/EfW1pfFy4f

08:02 AM Sep 17th

[OCT 7] Register for my free upcoming Ask Me Anything About Health Privacy webinar at this link...… https://t.co/j63mcVxsHJ

08:02 AM Sep 16th

contact details

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

(416) 855 9557

.