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)

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

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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 »


Are you having fun yet?

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In February 2016, I was asked to do an exercise: What do you do for fun? I remember that day vividly because for the first time in my life I was stumped about fun. Upon reflection – I came up with a few things.  Playing with the kids (who were then 3 years old and… Read more »


Professional Staff Leaves of Absence – is your hospital prepared?

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Does your hospital explain to your Professional Staff members the rules about taking a leave of absence? Remember: Professional Staff members may include doctors, dentists, midwives and independent contractor nurse practitioners. Since members of the Professional Staff are usually independent contractors and not employees of a hospital, they independently arrange for their colleagues to cover… Read more »


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

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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.    


Stop and think before you post any of the following on social media

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If you are a health care leader, at some point you have wondered about the risks of social media. You know you need to use social media platforms to share your organizational message. And you may want to expand what you are doing though social media in order to stay relevant with your patient population like add… Read more »


Privacy Officer training for Primary Care Clinics – October and November 2017

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If you are a Privacy Officer for a primary care clinic – this course is for you! Full details and registration I have taught a few hundred Privacy Officers how to feel more confident in what they do.  It’s my passion to bring the law to life. Through storytelling and scenario-based learning you will learn… Read more »


Health Privacy Update – September 2017 – 2 new IPC guidance documents for health care organizations

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The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario just released a new practice guideline last week to assist health care organizations to better understand their upcoming new obligations to report privacy breaches to the IPC. Here is the document: health-privacy-breach-notification-guidelines Those new obligations come into effect on October 1st. A few weeks ago, the IPC released another practice direction related to  Frivolous and… Read more »


Professional Staff succession planning – does your hospital have a plan?

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Professional Staff in hospitals are doctors, dentists, midwives and privileged staff nurse practitioners. Does your hospital have a plan to deal with Professional Staff retirements, departures and recruitment? Do any of these scenarios sound familiar? You are worried about a future brain drain – when you look into the future, you can see the possibly of… Read more »


Health Privacy Update #2 – August 2017 – Precedent setting new case Decision 49

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The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario just released two more decisions all health care providers in Ontario should read. Decision 48: A hospital received a request for access to records. The hospital provided the complainant with a full copy of his health records but the complainant believed there should be additional records (specifically letters from… Read more »



Some of Kate’s recent and upcoming events

Team Privacy Training Events

September 17, September 24, October 16, October 24 and November 21

For Primary Care clinics, Children’s Aid and FHTs

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

Speaking event

October 23, 2019

Osgoode Professional Development – Mental health Certificate

Kate joins the faculty for this training event. More details...

Primary care webinars: Contracts & Communications

September 5 and October 3, 2019, 12 noon

Part of Kate’s monthly webinar series.

Our September webinar is about understanding contracts you may be asked to sign, and in Octber our title is Managing incapacity in the workplace.

Full details of the 2019 webinar series and registration here.

Privacy Officer training

November 5, 11, 18, 25 & December 2, 2019

Kate is the program chair for the Osgoode Certificate in Privacy in Healthcare.

This program explores the range of privacy interests that must be protected in the day-to-day treatment of patients, the development of information systems and the creation of institutional policies.More details ...

Advanced Privacy Officer training

December 10, 2019

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. Full details and registration here...

Free healthcare privacy webinar - ask me anything!

August 7 and September 4, 2019, 10-11am EST

Free webinars - advance registration needed

Whether you're an experience 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.

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

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Toronto Ontario M5V 3H5

(416) 855 9557

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