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The Huddle™: Unique on-demand health system videos launches

The Huddle™ – a one-of-a kind, on-demand video series that answers everyday questions about how to navigate the health-care system – has launched online. Its tagline, Simplifying the Health System™ says it all. Financial Post

Founders, Toronto health lawyers Mary Jane Dykeman and Kate Dewhirst, have created a unique one-stop-shop for health-care organizations, employers in other sectors and the public (whether through their employers or individually) to receive practical information about the health system via in-depth videos and other tools.

Dykeman and Dewhirst, partners at Toronto boutique health law firm DDO Health Law, have produced two sets of health system information videos under the umbrella The Huddle™ that can be found at

The first – The Health System Series – is for Ontario health-care organizations, other employers and the general public, while the second – The Huddle Short Clips – is for anyone working in health-care settings across Canada or worldwide.

“The video training is delivered in a flexible format that provides the information in a way that makes sense for any health-system participant, those working in the health sector, and any employer who wants to help employees access the resources that will return their focus to their work sooner,” says Dykeman. “If a person is distracted and distressed by their own or a loved one’s health situation, it’s likely that their full attention is not on their work. Some of these tools give individuals a starting point, to equip them to ask better questions of health-care providers, their own lawyers and even family members.”

The project is borne out of situations Dykeman and Dewhirst have encountered as lawyers to health-care organizations across Ontario and beyond, and in the teaching and writing they do. 

"We want to embrace innovative on-line tools that allow people to share basic information more readily," says Dewhirst.

Dykeman says the name and logo, The Huddle™, connotes the way clinical teams come together to find solutions, as well as the way communities or families resolve issues.

The Health System Series is comprised of six on-demand video seminars, with run-times from 40-minutes to an hour, and is targeted specifically to Ontario health-care organizations and providers, Ontario employers and the general public.

It's also directed to community organizations and disease associations in Ontario; and is available either as an annual subscription so that everyone in a given organization may benefit; or as discrete downloads for one-time screening by a single person or group.

Each of the six video segments, featuring Dykeman and Dewhirst, touches on a different area, including:  

  1. The health system and decision-making; 
  2. Health-care consent; 
  3. The mental health system; 
  4. Ruby's Journey — the story of an elderly person's journey from home to hospital, then to long-term care and through to end of life, including when her adult children do not agree on her care; 
  5. Children's health (including mental health) and
  6. Health privacy (which will be available in an e-learning module for compliance purposes)

Dykeman says The Health System Series provides information to navigate Ontario’s complex and changing health-care landscape more confidently. It also facilitates a stronger understanding of the health-system rules.

“We cut through the jargon and explain what you need to know — whether you are a patient or client, a family caregiver, a health-care provider or an employer whose employees are experiencing the health system firsthand,” Dykeman says. 

“It’s not clinical information, which we’ll leave to health-care providers – but these tools create a level playing field so that everyone has access to the same information and can start to listen to one another," agrees Dewhirst. 

“A health-care worker, employee in any sector, or any member of the public, can benefit from a primer on any or all of the six areas. The training could be made available as a wellness tool or part of an Employee Assistance Program in any workplace," Dykeman adds.

The second series, The Huddle Short Clips, is intended for health-care teams anywhere in the world. This first instalment in the series consists of 20 five- to 12-minute video clips on 16 different topics to help clinical teams and others working in health-care settings to better respond to tough situations that can arise. 

“Health-care teams need to be proactive and to anticipate challenging scenarios before they turn into problems. The Huddle Short Clips prepare you for those tough situations," says Dewhirst.

As well, The Huddle Short Clips provide guidance on a wide range of topics, including how to deal with a patient or family members making inappropriate comments to a health-care team member, what to do if someone wants to leave care against medical advice, or snooping in health records.

"Someone working in a health-care setting can watch the videos on their own, or the series may be used as a team training tool to start the conversation on a variety of tough topics," says Dykeman.

DDO also offers The Huddle™ Podcast, a gathering place to hear up-to-the-minute conversations with health leaders, health innovators, health system participants, and health-care providers. Anyone can tune in whenever it is convenient to listen to free weekly content. Watch a clip of Mary Jane Dykeman's appearance on Sirius XM Radio's What She Said!


To Read More Kate Dewhirst Posts Click Here
To Read More Mary Jane Dykeman Posts Click Here
To Read More DDO Health Law Posts Click Here
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