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

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. 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 Dewhirst . 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? 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. 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

Guidelines require healthcare organizations to track privacy breaches

By Kate Dewhirst . The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario released new guidelines that will come into effect March 2019 but require healthcare organizations to start tracking certain kinds of privacy breaches as of January 2018. Read more

Professional staff succession planning

By Kate Dewhirst . Professional staff in hospitals are doctors, dentists, midwives and privileged staff nurse practitioners. Read more

Coaching creates pathways to magic: Dewhirst

The coaching process of goal setting and strategizing is the fastest way to create momentum and change in your life, Toronto health lawyer Kate Dewhirst recently told a Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) gathering. Read more

Have you looked at your professional staff rules, regulations lately?

By Kate Dewhirst . Back in the 1980s and 90s, many hospitals published medical staff “rules and regulations.” And in some cases, that package then went dormant as hospital-wide policies and procedures were introduced. Read more

The importance of clear mission, vision and value statements

Health-care organizations need to have clear, emotionally resonant mission, vision and value statements to guide them through their greatest challenges, says Toronto health lawyer Kate Dewhirst . Read more

What does a privacy officer do in a health care organization?

By Kate Dewhirst . I train privacy officers to understand their role. So, what does a privacy officer do for a health care organization? Read more

Dewhirst gives back to legal profession as a coach

As both a coach and advisor for a new Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) program, Toronto health lawyer Kate Dewhirst loves the interaction with fellow lawyers and helping them meet their career goals. Read more

Do you know how to apologize?

By Kate Dewhirst . A note popped into my inbox this morning from Michael Hyatt, who is an extraordinary business coach. The topic is “The anatomy of a true apology.” Read more

Health privacy update – August 2017

By Kate Dewhirst . The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario has just released two new correction request decisions – 46 and 47 (dated June 2017 but released the last week of July). Decision 45 has not yet been released. Read more

Dewhirst offers training in evolving health privacy compliance

The legal role and importance of a privacy officer is growing in every health-care facility and case law is now assessing financial penalties for non-compliance and errors, says Toronto health lawyer Kate Dewhirst. Read more