Kate Dewhirst

Kate Dewhirst
Kate Dewhirst Health Law
Principal
Health, Privacy

Founder of Kate Dewhirst Health Law and Kate Dewhirst Coaching Lawyers in Toronto, Kate Dewhirst’s practice focuses on privacy and access to information, physician relationships with hospitals, family health teams, and risk management/difficult clinical scenarios.

Ms. Dewhirst received her LLB, MHSA, Law, Health Administration from Dalhousie University in 1999 and B.A. in Political Science and Women’s Studies in 1994 from York University.

She consults to a wide range of health-care organizations on issues dealing with governance and bylaws; statutory compliance; contracts; freedom of information, confidentiality and health records; clinical policy; physician privileges (including disruptive physician management); regulation of health professionals; research and research ethics; mental health and addictions; and position statements, policy papers and legislative change.

Ms. Dewhirst developed “The Privacy Prescription” to assist her clients with their privacy compliance, and provides privacy training programs across Ontario.

She advises hospitals on all aspects of their relationships with physicians and other professional staff (dentists, midwives, extended class nurses) from recruitment to difficult disciplinary matters. 

Ms. Dewhirst is the primary author of the Ontario Hospital Association's “Professional Staff Credentialing Toolkit,” which is the only resource in Canada on the topic for chiefs of staff and hospital boards.

Training executive directors and front-line staff on their legal duties, Ms. Dewhirst understands the inner dynamics of FHTs (FHOs/FHNs and other affiliated physician arrangements) and provides practical advice to that sector. She is the primary author of the Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario’s “Statutory Compliance for Family Health Teams and Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics.”

Ms. Dewhirst uses a “CLEOS” approach to assist her clients through their difficult clinical situations involving patients and their families; she looks at the clinical, legal, ethical, organizational and systemic issues to find solutions.

Kate Dewhirst In The News
Still time to get New Year's goals back on track, aligned: Dewhirst

January and February can be a discouraging time for law professionals, who might see the goals they set for their practices at the beginning of the year already slipping ... Read more

Three steps to influence organizational culture in health care

By Kate Dewhirst What is culture? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, culture is the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that ... Read more

Health law collisions: immigration law

By Kate Dewhirst Health law is a discipline that focuses on the legal issues in health care, on representing the interests of recipients of health services or health care ... Read more

Democratizing health information

By Kate Dewhirst That sounds lofty, doesn’t it? There is an important movement afoot in health care where recipients of health care services get better, faster, and ... Read more

Gaining confidence as a lawyer a three-step cycle: Dewhirst

One of the most valuable attributes a lawyer can have is confidence — but most do not know how to build or protect it, Toronto health lawyer and coach Kate ... Read more

Advice for health-care institutions on how to manage patient complaints

When patients complain, health-care facilities must avoid three common mistakes in how they respond, Toronto health lawyer Kate Dewhirst  tells  AdvocateDaily.com . ... Read more

Privacy update – changes in managing privacy in health care

Privacy is such a dynamic area of law and health care that organizations need to pay attention to it constantly, says Toronto health lawyer Kate Dewhirst . “It ... Read more

Concepts health leaders need to know when interacting with police

By Kate Dewhirst I am often asked by health leaders what to do when police arrive and need information about patients. Police officers and police departments are important ... Read more

Always scroll down: Dewhirst

By Kate Dewhirst The forward email function should be used very carefully. Here’s why … As a lawyer, I get forwarded a lot of emails by my clients. In ... Read more

New snooping case for health privacy

By Kate Dewhirst Decision 74  recently released by the Information and Privacy Commissioner is another snooping case. My summary of all the IPC decisions is ... Read more

Want to know what a ransomware attack sounds like in healthcare?

By Kate Dewhirst According to a  CBC report  published recently, a home medical services company was recently hacked and tens of thousands of health records for ... Read more

How many hats does your health organization wear?

When Toronto health lawyer Kate Dewhirst  advises organizations on how to protect themselves from legal risks, she often finds herself talking about hats — and ... Read more

Recruiting non-licensed MDs to non-medical positions

By Kate Dewhirst Not everyone who trains as a physician practices medicine or continues to practice medicine. Some choose to work in a hospital environment but not as a ... Read more

Dewhirst: building resilience for lawyers

Lawyers often feel pressure to be superhuman. It’s why their stress levels are through the roof, and why they need a new superpower — resilience, says Toronto health ... Read more

Four lessons I learned as an undercover patient

By Kate Dewhirst Ok. I wasn’t really undercover. But I was a patient. I spent five days in hospital recently for a surgical procedure. I’m sore ... Read more

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