Kate Dewhirst

Kate Dewhirst
Kate Dewhirst Health Law
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 Posts

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 occasionally about helipads. 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 physician such as in administration, research, information technology, finance, risk, law, policy, public relations, or interdisciplinary professional practice. Medical training can be an enormous advantage for a candidate applying to a non-medical role in a hospital. 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 lawyer and coach Kate Dewhirst. Read more

Four lessons I learned as an undercover patient

By Kate Dewhirst . Ok. I wasn’t really undercover. But I was a patient. 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. 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. 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 it comes to throwing away paper copies of health records. 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 services. 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 sharing patient information with insurance companies. 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. 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 new requirement to track privacy breaches and report the statistics to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario in 2019. 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 caregivers. Read more