By Date

Privacy training for family health teams

Looking for on-site privacy training for your family health team?  Kate Dewhirst offers practical and engaging privacy training specific to family health teams.

She covers:

  • Privacy terminology and privacy rules
  • Consequences for a privacy breach
  • Who is the “Health Information Custodian” in a family health team (with a family health organization)
  • What do Health Information Custodians have to do?
  • Patient rights
  • Consent rules and exceptions to the rules
  • Circle of care: sharing information as part of a “health care system”
  • Lockbox: Can patients decide not to share information with their health care providers?
  • Social media and technology issues
  • Working within HealthLinks and other community sharing projects
  • Privacy Standards & IPC Orders – storytelling to bring privacy to life

I am a family physician working in a busy Family Health Team. PHIPA impacts all of our clinical and administrative activities. Kate Dewhirst provided us with an engaging and highly informative presentation. She was able to make a large room of multidisciplinary health care providers and administrative staff feel more like a small group session with lots of informal interactions, humor, questions and answers and real life examples of privacy issues and management. Kate kept the meeting on schedule and organized. Kate’s information motivated me to make some immediate changes in my office function. I can highly recommend Kate Dewhirst as an excellent, high value resource in navigating the confusing waters of health care privacy. – Dr. Richard Wiginton, Brighton/Quinte West Family Health Team

Kate’s knowledge of privacy legislation and her ability to translate it in a very meaningful way to front line staff was invaluable. Staff were engaged throughout the entire length of the workshop. – Mary Atkinson, Executive Director, North Perth FHT

Please contact Kate at for more information

CASL (Anti-Spam) Toolkit for the Health Sector

DDO is pleased to announce the release of its CASL (Anti-Spam) Toolkit.  Though Canada’s anti-spam legislation regulates more than just spam, our Toolkit focuses solely on its section 6 spam provisions.

Does CASL apply to your organization?

Many health care organizations have asked us whether CASL applies to them.  It likely does.  If you, your staff, your Board members or your volunteers ever send email or text messages to your stakeholders for commercial purposes, there are new rules you will have to follow as of July 1, 2014.

Who can benefit from the Toolkit

Our Toolkit will be valuable to you if your organization is:

  • a hospital
  • a foundation
  • a health care charity
  • a family health team or nurse practitioner-led clinic
  • a long-term care home
  • a community health centre
  • a mental health or community-based agency
  • a member-based association
  • a shared services organization
  • an association for regulated health professionals, or
  • a regulated Colleges.

Unfortunately, CASL is complicated.  And there are no simple answers to the questions:

  • Do we have to get permission from everyone in our database to continue to send email messages?
  • Do we need to change our email and text messaging practices?
  • Isn’t there an exclusion for charities so we don’t have to comply with CASL?

Our general answer to those questions is: It depends. The analysis depends on the type of email or text messages you send and towhom and for what purposes.

How our Toolkit can help you

This Toolkit will help you work through:

  • which of your email and text messages count as “commercial electronic messages” and which messages are not covered by CASL
  • how to approach your stakeholder database – and how to decide when you should ask for express consent for your stakeholders to stay on your email mailing list or when to rely on “implied consent” or “business to business” relationships (Note: Express consent may NOT be the way to go)
  • how to use the fundraising exception if your organization is a registered charity
  • how to set up your email systems going forward to automatically comply with CASL
  • alternative ways to communicate with stakeholders that are not covered by CASL (such as by fax or phone)
  • what to do if you are still not compliant after July 1, 2014.

Getting the Toolkit

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of the Toolkit, please contact Julie Cannon at 416.967.7100 ext 242 or via e-mail at

Legal Issues for Family Health Teams – Monthly Teleconference 2014

DDO Health Law runs a monthly call-in program to discuss legal issues facing family health teams (FHTs). These calls are for Executive Directors, Lead Physicians and human resources personnel for FHTs and family health organizations (FHOs)/family health networks (FHNs).

What are the topics for 2014?  (Note: If the date has passed, a recording of the session is available)

  • January 9 –  Tips for human resource management when your FHO/FHN employs separate staff, uses FHT staff after hours, shares staff with the FHT or when your FHO/FHN wants to transfer staff to the FHT to employ
  • February 6 – Tips for using email to communicate with patients
  • March 6 – FHT/FHO Governance 101
  • April 3 – Tips for managing absentee employees
  • May 1 – Tips for being a lead agency in provincial health initiatives – what do FHTs have to know? (such as HealthLinks)
  • June 5 – Responding to Complaints (dealing with complaints from families/patients)
  • September 4 – Tips for managing disputes between staff
  • October 2 – Service agreements between FHTs and FHOs – what should be included
  • November 6 – Tips for terminating employees
  • December 4 – Tips for allowing external health care providers to chart in your eMR

Monthly calls are scheduled over the lunch hour from 12pm – 1pm on the first Thursday of the month. There are no calls scheduled for July or August.

Why join?

  • You will hear from legal experts who understand FHTs (and your relationship with your FHOs/FHNs)
  • You get 10 monthly calls on  the latest legal topics and trends affecting FHTs
  • You will have a chance to ask questions and share stories with your FHT colleagues
  • Your FHT will receive a 10% discount on all in-service training by DDO Health Law in 2014
  • You can be added to our email list to receive legal updates as they happen
  • The calls are exclusively for FHTs – so you know you are getting information relevant to your day-to-day work
  • You can have as many people from your FHT and affiliated FHOs/FHNs (physicians) on each call – the flat fee is per FHT

What is the cost? and how do I sign up?

There is a flat fee for an annual subscription. Fees are per FHT. Please contact Allison Rose-Guy at for details about this program, fees and how to sign up.

Risk Management Issues in Health Research Conference

Agenda and Registration form for May 27th, 2013 Conference