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 – 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 »



Catalyst conversations – raising issues in a way people will listen

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The other day I was a pedestrian on the sidewalk waiting for the traffic light to turn green. Up rode a young guy on a bicycle – on the sidewalk. Honestly, I hadn’t noticed he was on the sidewalk.  But a woman next to me did. And she instantly tore into him. “How dare you… Read more »


Have you looked at your hospital’s Professional Staff Rules and Regulations lately?

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Back in the 1980s and 90s, many hospitals published Medical Staff “Rules and Regulations”. And in some cases, that package then went dormant as hospital-wide policies and procedures were introduced. Have a look on your intranet. Do you have Rules and Regulations that are still on the books but have not been updated in awhile?… Read more »


What does a Privacy Officer do in a health care organization?

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I train Privacy Officers to understand their role. So, what does a Privacy Officer do for a health care organization? In Ontario, every health care organization must have a “contact person” to do the following five tasks: Facilitate compliance with the health privacy law, PHIPA Ensure that everyone who works for the organization is informed… Read more »




Health Privacy Update – August 2017

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The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario has just released two new correction request decisions – 46 and 47 (dated June 2017 but released the last week of July).  Decision 45 has not yet been released. Bottom Line: These decisions do not change your practice. So long as you respond to correction requests (as you… Read more »


Some of Kate’s recent and upcoming events

Health Privacy Officer training
April 28, 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 April program is on COVID-19 and the May program will address governance tips and tricks.
Full details of the 2020 webinar series and registration here.

Free healthcare privacy webinar - ask me anything!
the first Wednesday of every month (Next up: May 6 and June 3)

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
March 31, April 17, May 6, June 17

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.

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