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

IPC decisions inform health providers about medical record issue

Five recent decisions from Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) are throwing light on the hot issue of how health-care providers should best respond to patients who request corrections or other changes to their medical records, says Toronto health lawyer Kate Dewhirst . Read more

Crucial for law firms to recognize value of innovative thinking

As many lawyers are strapped for creative thinking time, it is difficult for innovative ideas to be nurtured unless firms intentionally carve out space to think about how they can improve their businesses, Toronto health lawyer Kate Dewhirst tells The Lawyers Weekly . Read more

Entrepreneurial lens can help with lawyer career satisfaction

Toronto health lawyer Kate Dewhirst enjoys running her own health law practice, but often sees other young lawyers working in firms where they feel confined by “golden handcuffs” — and, as she tells Law Times , she plans to help them achieve career satisfaction via a new coaching business. Read more

Would you choose to be a lawyer?

By Kate Dewhirst . I was recently at an event with a “mixed group” – a mix of lawyers and non-lawyers. Read more

Patient record disputes on the rise

With a sharp increase in the number of disputes involving access to patient records reported to Ontario’s information and privacy commissioner, Toronto health lawyer Kate Dewhirst says it’s critical that health providers understand the rules of engagement when it comes to ensuring patients have access to their own information. Read more

The holidays: a time to be extra compassionate in health care

The holiday season is a stressful time for everyone, making it important for health-care providers to be extra diligent about showing compassion to patients and their families, says Toronto health lawyer Kate Dewhirst . Read more

Monthly webinars to explore legal issues for family health teams

Toronto health lawyer Kate Dewhirst will be hosting monthly webinars throughout 2017, focusing on legal issues facing family health teams (FHTs). Read more

What family health teams need to know about social media and the law

By Kate Dewhirst. On Dec. 3 the CBC reported that a nurse was found guilty of professional misconduct in Saskatchewan for personal comments she made on Facebook and Twitter about care received by her grandfather. You can read the CBC story here and the details of the finding of the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses’ Association here. Read more

Kate Dewhirst launches Kate Dewhirst Health Law

Toronto health lawyer Kate Dewhirst has launched a new firm, Kate Dewhirst Health Law . Read more

Important to strike right balance in health information disclosure

Ontario’s privacy laws strike the right balance when it comes to protecting the rights of individuals and those of their families to know about the mental health struggles of their loved ones, says Toronto health lawyer Kate Dewhirst . Read more

Privacy encompasses more than confidentiality

The case of a Peterborough nurse whose licence was suspended for four months after she was found guilty of professional misconduct for accessing nearly 300 patient records underscores the consequences of privacy breaches and that it is considered “snooping” when someone looks at records without authorization even if the information isn’t shared further, Toronto health lawyer Kate Dewhirst says. Read more

Dewhirst to present at Osgoode Certificate in Health Law

Toronto health lawyer Kate Dewhirst will share her expertise in information, privacy and risk management in health care as part of the faculty at this year’s Osgoode Certificate in Health Law, hosted by Osgoode Professional Development, she tells AdvocateDaily.com. Read more

Owning law firm means freedom, added responsibility

For women lawyers, one definitive way to avoid the glass ceiling is to become the boss yourself — and with that ownership comes the flexibility to have a family, Toronto health lawyer Kate Dewhirst tells Lawyers Weekly . Read more