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

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

Webcast to focus on credentialing issues for hospital boards

Toronto health lawyer Kate Dewhirst is set to share her expertise on the key issues and responsibilities facing hospital board members when it comes to professional staff credentialing, as part of an upcoming Governance Centre of Excellence webcast. Read more

Privacy commissioner gives direction on medical record disclosure

Ontario’s privacy commissioner has clarified that health-information custodians – such as hospitals and family health teams – have a duty to consider requests from individuals who want the health records of a deceased relative disclosed to them, says Toronto health lawyer Kate Dewhirst. Read more

Stress management is all about time management

For Toronto health lawyer Kate Dewhirst , keeping stress levels under control is all about time management and planning. Read more

Patients' right to sue hospitals may have big impact on public purse

The Ontario Court of Appeal decision that makes it possible for patients to sue hospitals and other health-care organizations for privacy breaches could potentially have significant financial ramifications, says Toronto health lawyer Kate Dewhirst . Read more

Ontario’s IPC launches new resources to guard against snooping

By Kate Dewhirst . The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario launched a new campaign called “Is snooping on patients worth It?” See video d other resources. Also included in this campaign is a new resource document for health care organizations called “ Detecting and Deterring Unauthorized Access to Personal Health Information a must read for all health care privacy officers. Read More at DDO Health Law Blog Read more

Legislation safeguarding health care integrity receives Royal Assent

By Kate Dewhirst . On July 22, 2014, the Ontario government introduced Bill 21, the Safeguarding Health Care Integrity Act, 2014 . Bill 21 received Royal Assent on Dec. 11, 2014. This legislation intends to safeguard health care integrity by enacting the Voluntary Blood Donations Act, 2014 . In relation to Ontario’s voluntary blood donor model, the legislation prohibits payments or offers of payment to individuals for their blood, including any forms of compensation or reimbursement of expenses. Read More at DDO Health Law Blog Read more

Physician competency complaints a complex issue

While patient safety is the number one concern when dealing with complaints around physician competence, h... Read more

Opening a dialogue on physician retirement is key

“This is a pervasive and stressful issue facing all hospitals and it’s not going away in the context of our aging population,” she tells AdvocateDaily.com. Read more