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)

Category: Long-term care


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 »


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 »




Guess Who? The obligation to disclose staff names in audit reporting

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Key takeaway message: When a patient asks for an audit of their health record, you must disclose the names of staff that appear those audit reports, even if those staff did not provide health care. If the disclosure of the name would result in economic harm or a serious threat to health or safety then… Read more »


Warning: If you go privacy rogue – your employer’s insurance company likely doesn’t have to protect you

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If you ever needed a reason to behave, this is as good a one as any. In a new Ontario court decision, a nurse was denied coverage from her former hospital employer’s insurance provider for her legal fees and possible costs associated with her alleged snooping in health records. So now, she walks into court… Read more »


In case you were wondering, don’t use your ex-business partner’s ex-wife’s health information to learn about a new IT system

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Calling all clinicians, Privacy Officers, IT change management consultants and practice managers. Here’s a new case for you to read and absorb. Bierman v. Haidash 2021 from Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench So, imagine you work in a health care environment and you’ve got to learn a new IT system. Bummer right? You’ve got to… Read more »


Annual statistical reporting – clarification for 2021

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It’s that time of year again … annual statistical reporting to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. There has been some confusion this year. Let’s break down the rules … [Prefer to watch a video: I clarify on video here] Question 1: Do we have to complete an annual statistical report?  There was some… Read more »


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… 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
October 24, 31, November 7, 14, 21, 28 2022 Coming Soon: Spring 2023 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 September we discuss mandatory training for new employees and October we discuss ethical decision making in primary care.
Full details of the 2022 webinar series and registration here.

Team Privacy Training Events
August 3, September 7, 23

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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contact details

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

(416) 855 9557

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