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
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

What happens if departing employees have health records at home?

By Kate Dewhirst Decision 69  of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario was recently released. A former hospital employee (registered health ... Read more

Triage your work issues like client cases: Dewhirst

While lawyers are trained to advocate for their clients, they often fail to do it for themselves, says Toronto legal coach and health care lawyer  Kate Dewhirst . ... Read more

Training is your best weapon to guard against fraud

By Kate Dewhirst Recently, the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario released two new health privacy decisions. Decision 68  reads like a made for TV ... Read more

Paper health records can cause serious privacy issues: report

By Kate Dewhirst A  new Canadian study  published in the American Medical Association journal  JAMA  found that hospitals have a serious issue when ... Read more

Five traps you should avoid when a patient complains

By Kate Dewhirst Every health care organization receives complaints. A complaint is any negative feedback received from a patient or family member of a patient about your ... Read more

Insurance company requests: Clinicians' FAQs answered

With almost two decades of experience advising clinicians, Toronto health lawyer  Kate Dewhirst has answered just about any question you can think of when it comes to ... Read more

IPC issued new guidelines for disposing of electronic information

By Kate Dewhirst The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario released new guidelines recently for  disposing of electronic media . These guidelines explain ... Read more

Tips for clinicians dealing with insurance company requests

Clinicians must take care when answering requests for patient information from insurance companies, Toronto health lawyer  Kate Dewhirst tells  AdvocateDaily.com . ... Read more

Tracking privacy breaches in 2018 – tools and tips

By Kate Dewhirst I’ve delivered five team privacy training sessions for health care groups this month all over the province. One thing that has everyone talking is the ... Read more

Medical affairs leaders play a vital role

Medical affairs leaders make up an important element of the health-care system that the public hears little about, says Toronto health lawyer  Kate Dewhirst . ... Read more

Managing volatile situations in health care

By Kate Dewhirst Health care organizations of all shapes and sizes deal with volatile situations involving patients (or clients or residents) and family members or ... Read more

Four new health privacy decisions of the IPC released

By Kate Dewhirst On Friday, Jan. 12, the  Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario  released four new decisions. Here is my updated summary of all ... Read more

Dewhirst designs assessment tool for lawyers to reach their goals

Too many lawyers are dissatisfied with their careers, and need help changing direction and gaining control over their lives, says Toronto health lawyer and coach  Kate ... Read more

Professional staff leaves of absence – is your hospital prepared?

By Kate Dewhirst Does your hospital explain to your professional staff members the rules about taking a leave of absence? Remember: professional staff members may include ... Read more

Stop and think before you post the following on social media

By Kate Dewhirst 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 ... Read more

Physicians and the value of performance reviews

Hospitals should use annual physician performance reviews to deal with persistent shortcomings before they escalate, says Toronto health lawyer  Kate Dewhirst .  ... Read more

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