“Yet you are willing to give the government your information?”
I have been a practicing optometrist for over 30 years. I follow all the laws I know of. I have not turned over any info to the government, nor have I been asked (required) to do so.
It is true that there will be statistical analyses. It is also true that any information available can be abused. And it is also true that the government is only one group of people who can abuse your information.
Right now, this information is staying within doctors’ offices. But I cannot wait for the day when I can see patient records from other doctors’ offices. You can’t imagine the number of people who have no idea the names of the meds they take. How can I ensure that I’m not putting them at risk by adding another needed medication if I can’t be aware of potential drug interactions? I can request info from other docs, but this does not guarantee when the info will arrive, assuming it ever will. And electronic records eliminate handwriting issues as well.
Of course laws will be broken. That’s why we have them, and we have penalties for breaking them. The more knowledge, the more responsibility. Security will always be an issue, and it is our responsibility as citizens to be diligent.
Also, keep in mind that although I have to ask sensitive questions, patients are not required to answer, and if their answers are sensitive enough, I am not required to record them. (In that case, I advise the patient of this, and recommend the patient enter into similar arrangements with their other docs.)