As the U.S. nursing shortage worsens and patient safety concerns increase, health care vendors, policymakers and nurses are looking to information technology (IT) solutions to boost efficiency, Government Health IT reports. According to Government Health IT’s "GHIT Notebook," nurses historically have had a disproportionately small role in shaping health IT development and policy, but are increasingly “becoming more involved in the development, procurement and deployment of next-generation IT tools.” For instance, the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) is working to alleviate the nursing shortage by leveraging IT solutions to make better use of nurses already in the field, instead of relying on strategies to increase nurse supply. Supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, AAN's Workforce Commission compared the work processes and environments of nurses and other clinicians at 25 sites nationwide. Participants consistently recommended IT tools in areas including care coordination, care delivery, communications, discharge, documentation, medication administration, patient movement, and supplies and equipment. Specifically, nurses say they want entirely electronic health records instead of the more common hybrid systems that combine electronic and paper-based reporting. In addition, they want computerized order entry systems to eliminate handwriting legibility issues, touch-screen or voice-activated technology for documentation, and automated networks to collect and download vital patient data. The Commission’s chair adds that nurses reported wanting more hand-free tools, particularly wireless technology, that “frees them up.” Nurses also reported wanting greater use of radio frequency identification technology to track people, supplies and equipment, as well as greater use of robotics to deliver supplies. Furthermore, nurses support the use of smart beds to monitor patient movements and pressure sensors to reduce the incidence of bedsores. Commenting on the health IT industry, the dean of the University of Minnesota's School of Nursing suggests that “the more [nurses] are deeply involved in the actual design of these applications, the greater likelihood we will get applications that are not impractical but fit the actual care delivery system.” Meanwhile, the EHR project director at University Hospitals in Cleveland agrees, noting that organizations that implement IT without involving nurses tend to end up with faulty systems (Pulley, Government Health IT, 3/31/08).