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
What is a ‘bad faith’ request for access to health records?

By Kate Dewhirst . In a new health privacy decision of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, we find out what needs to be proven to show a patient is making a request for access to health records in “bad faith.” Read more

What happens if you lose a patient record?

By Kate Dewhirst . The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario has issued a new health privacy  Decision 86 . A woman contacted a hospital to have access to her deceased son’s health records. The hospital provided part of the record but notified the requester that part of the paper record was missing. Read more

Ruling brings clarity to sharing health-care providers' names

The default position of health-care organizations should be to share service providers’ full names to patients on request, Toronto health lawyer  Kate Dewhirst tells  AdvocateDaily.com . Read more

Lawyer friends — it’s time to get out of your comfort zone

By Kate Dewhirst . I went to the  Funnel Hacking Live  event in Nashville, TN recently. It’s a marketing event sponsored by Click Funnels. I follow co-founder  Russell Brunson  on social media and loved his books Dot Com Secrets and Expert Secrets . So on a whim, I went to the live event. Read more

Privacy commissioner sets context for abandoned health records

New guidelines from Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) demonstrates how health-care providers can unintentionally abandon medical records, Toronto health lawyer  Kate Dewhirst tells  AdvocateDaily.com . Read more

Be very careful when speaking with the media about patients

By Kate Dewhirst . We know this intuitively – but it bears repeating. Health care organizations should be very careful when speaking with the media about specific patient cases. There is a new Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC) health privacy decision directly on this topic.  Decision 82 . Read more

Health privacy update: complainant does not get two kicks at the can

By Kate Dewhirst . In  decision 80  of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, the wife of a deceased patient was concerned that a hospital doctor wrongly shared her husband’s health information by speaking to a third party about the care he received and that the hospital failed to meet its privacy obligations. These concerns were raised with the IPC as well as the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) (which decision of the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee decision was further appealed to the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (HPARB)).  Read more

Can patients trust you in the age of electronic privacy scandals?

By Kate Dewhirst . In the last few years, the public has heard a lot of scary things about electronic privacy scandals. Read more

Eight do's and don'ts for performance reviews

It’s physician performance review season, and hospital leaders should make sure there are no surprises when they summarize the year’s successes and failures, Toronto health lawyer and coach Kate Dewhirst  tells AdvocateDaily.com . Read more

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 beyond their grasp, says Toronto lawyer and coach Kate Dewhirst . 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 characterizes an institution or organization. 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 providers or the health sector and its businesses and goods and service providers, or government and its policymakers. Read more

Democratizing health information

By Kate Dewhirst . That sounds lofty, doesn’t it? 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 Dewhirst , tells AdvocateDaily.com . 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

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