New obligations on custodians in event of privacy breach

By Lonny Rosen & Elyse Sunshine . Since the implementation of the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA) in 2004, Health Information Custodians (custodians) have had a duty to take steps to safeguard the personal health information (PHI) in their custody and control to prevent PHI from being lost, stolen, or accessed by someone without authorization (a privacy breach). Custodians have also had an obligation to notify individuals at the first reasonable opportunity if their PHI is lost, stolen or accessed by unauthorized persons. While the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (the IPC) has previously recommended that custodians contact the IPC in the event of a breach, and that custodians contact health regulatory colleges (the college) if employees who are regulated health professionals engage in conduct that results in a privacy breach, recent amendments to PHIPA and to the regulation there under make such reporting a legal obligation of custodians . Read more

Legal innovation – unlocking your creativity

By Kate Dewhirst . The pressure to “innovate” is everywhere. Read more

Nurse fails to accept full responsibility for past misconduct

By Lonny Rosen & Elyse Sunshine . A nurse applied to the College of Nurses of Ontario (the College) for his revoked registration to be reinstated. Unfortunately, his minimization of his professional misconduct in another jurisdiction resulted in the denial of his application . Read more

The meaning of health law: Dewhirst

Practising health law is more than just acquiring a set of legal skills, it means immersing yourself in a discipline that goes to the heart of people’s lives, says Toronto health lawyer Kate Dewhirst . Read more

Managing everyday complaints in health care

By Kate Dewhirst . I recently surveyed administrative and clinical team members at a family health team and discovered the top five issues that lead patients or families to complain where the conversation can get heated: Read more

Report on health-care procurement 'forward-looking, ambitious'

Many of the recommendations in a new report on how to optimize the quality and efficiency of Ontario’s health-care procurement strategy are “appropriate and forward-looking,” but creating a province-wide supply chain entity and the timelines around it are ambitious, says Toronto health lawyer Michael Gleeson . Read more

Doctor advised against acquiescing to improper demands of patient

By Lonny Rosen & Elyse Sunshine . The Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (the Board) reviewed a decision of the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (the Committee) of the College of Physicians and Surgeons arising from a doctor giving a patient a vaccination for hepatitis B even though she already had hepatitis B, in order to “appease her” and “ease her stress.” The Committee’s decision was to provide advice to the doctor and to accept a remedial agreement requiring the doctor to engage in self-study. The patient sought a review of this decision. Read more

Dykeman receives OBA health law award

The Ontario Bar Association (OBA) has recognized Toronto health lawyer Mary Jane Dykeman as the 2017 recipient of the Susan Hilary Davidson Memorial Award for Excellence in Health Law. Read more

Talking conflict on an FHT board

By Kate Dewhirst . Family health teams are interesting creations. What are they? Multi-disciplinary teams providing primary care services to communities across Ontario. Read more

Communication, conflict concerns for independent health assessors

By Lonny Rosen & Elyse Sunshine . A recent matter before the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (the Board) exemplifies the importance of open communication and having clear reimbursement processes when patients are referred to independent health assessors by third party insurers. This decision is a reminder that independent assessors need to take steps to demonstrate impartiality and avoid conflicts of interest, in order to avoid complaints and to be in a position to respond when complaints arise. Read more

Tragic long-term care home deaths may lead to systemic change

WOODSTOCK, Ont. — A former Ontario nurse admitted Thursday to using insulin to kill eight seniors and hurt six others while the vulnerable individuals were in her care, in part because she felt angry with her career and her life's responsibilities. Read more

Rosen to discuss privilege, insights for mid-career lawyers

Toronto health lawyer Lonny Rosen will be speaking at a pair of programs for litigators in June, presented by The Advocates’ Society. Read more

‘Belligerent’ patient not an excuse for unprofessional behaviour

By Lonny Rosen & Elyse Sunshine . The Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC) of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario required a gastroenterologist to attend at the College to be cautioned in person about his unprofessional behaviour and communication with patients, specifically for his failure to obtain consent from a patient before conducting a procedure. The doctor applied to the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (the Board) for a review of the decision, and the Board concluded that the decision was reasonable. Read more

Hospital boards and professional staff credentialing

By Kate Dewhirst . As you may know, the Auditor General released a report criticizing the Public Hospitals Act professional staff appointment appeals process for being time-consuming and costly. Read more

Health professionals should take own notes with challenging patients

By Lonny Rosen & Elyse Sunshine . This matter before the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (the Board) provides guidance on when a health professional should take their own notes rather than rely on the notes of a trainee or colleague. Read more