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: News



IPC Statistical Report 2021

Posted by

Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner has released its annual Statistical Report for 2021. Below is a summary of the high-level take-aways: Access Requests: There were 137,481 requests for access to personal health information in 2021, a 2.5% decrease from 2020 when 140,950 requests were received. Health institutions completed 137,234 requests for access to personal health… Read more »


IPC Annual Report 2021

Posted by

Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner (Patricia Kosseim) has released her 2021 annual report. The report reflects on the shift towards an increasingly digital society over the course of the past year and describes the IPC’s role in protecting people’s privacy while supporting innovation in our province. In addition to reporting on the IPC’s adjudication of… Read more »



Sharing EMR Credentials — A Cautionary Tale

Posted by

The Information and Privacy Commissioner has released Decision 176, which speaks to the use of electronic medical record (EMR) credentials by individuals other than the authorized user. The decision arose after the father of a patient asked for an audit of his son’s hospital records, following his son’s death by suicide. The records were located… Read more »


International Women’s Day 2022 — Recognizing the women of Kate Dewhirst Health Law

Posted by

International Women’s Day is a global effort to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It is celebrated annually on March 8. This year’s theme (#BreakTheBias) is focussed on eliminating stereotypes and discrimination to achieve gender equality and encourage a world that is diverse, inclusive, and where differences are valued and celebrated…. Read more »


Check-ins: The Importance of Performance Reviews to the Hospital Credentialing Process

Posted by

Physicians (as well as dentists, midwives and some NPs) working at hospitals in Ontario must undergo an annual credentialing process to receive privileges.  The initial application process to consider a new physician brings with it the highest levels of scrutiny. Subsequent renewals of physician privileges are perceived as more of a formality and sometimes even… Read more »




Feuding Parents and Privacy Requests: what to do when joint custodial parents disagree

Posted by

In Decision 160, the IPC reviewed a complaint from the father of two children (both under the age of eight) whose records request was partially denied by the hospital where the children received care. The records contained concerns about the father’s relationship with the children. The mother did not consent to the records being disclosed… 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.

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

Latest Tweets

It’s estimated that only 30% of people finish a course they start. If you’ve taken Privacy Officer training, you ne… https://t.co/wMEn6ZkuIK

35 minutes ago

[OCT 6 – WEBINAR SERIES] Register now at link for "Right or Wrong — Ethical decision-making"… https://t.co/mPCiMBsJN3

08:00 AM Sep 26th

Register now for this FREE upcoming Ask Me Anything. We cover topics like: - video surveillance - snooping - infor… https://t.co/yCc7Cl4TWj

08:00 AM Sep 24th

contact details

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

(416) 855 9557

.