Don't let health IT legislation flatline

Americans are familiar with electronic records: We check our bank statements online, order prescriptions online, pay our bills online. Most Americans are well aware of the convenience and security of electronic records, yet there is not a single, comprehensive, interoperable electronic medical records system. This means more paper forms, more cost from inefficiency and repetitive tests, and more uncertainty in the emergency room. Republicans and Democrats agree: Americans deserve more from their healthcare system.

On Sept. 8, over 100 associations, businesses, unions, patient and provider groups signed a joint letter to Congress urging passage of health information technology legislation this year. Health IT has overwhelming bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate, and yet the American people are still waiting for Congress to act.

American manufacturers have a huge stake in health IT. Working Americans face soaring healthcare costs, and employers continue to struggle to provide health benefits. Health IT has the potential to save millions of dollars for working Americans. Technology has modernized the manufacturing industry by cutting waste on the shop floor, managing inventory more effectively and speeding delivery of products. Now it’s time for Congress to apply the same cutting-edge technology that has transformed manufacturing to our nation’s healthcare system.