Task Management

Task management focusses on how people (or teams) organise resources and required activities to achieve goals, be they individual case plans or longer term scheduling issues. It has four skill elements: planning and preparing; prioritising; providing and maintaining standards; identifying and utilising resources. (See source link: ANTS)


This tool is to help observers of clinical team work identify key behaviors which contribute to effective task management. This is so the team can reflect upon and receive feedback on their performance.

Ideally, dedicate 5-10 minutes to discuss task management with the team ahead of the observation:
1. Elicit good and bad behaviors
2. Describe the different sections of the observation tool
3. Elicit areas in which individuals or the team would like specific feedback.


Planning and Preparation

Develop in advance a plan and communicate to relevant staff

Review plan in light of changes

Make necessary arrangements to ensure plans can be achieved


Discuss priority issues

Convey the order of actions in critical situations

Identify and draw attention to critical areas (e.g. during escalation SBAR handovers)

Manage distractions

Providing and Maintaining Standards

Follow published protocols and guidelines

Maintains safety standards e.g. correct patient identification; minimum monitoring, cross check of drug labels, at each encounter

Adheres to infection control best practice

Maintain accurate and contemporaneous notes

Identifying and Using Resources

Identify and make use of all necessary resources (people, expertise, equipment, time) and requests additional resources if needed

Allocate tasks to appropriate team members without overloading

Keep track of allocated tasks and their completion (e.g. use of close loop communication or of task lists.)

Overall Task Management

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Please note that this checklist is a hypothetical example and provides basic information only. It is not intended to take the place of, among other things, workplace, health and safety advice; medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment; or other applicable laws. You should also seek your own professional advice to determine if the use of such checklist is permissible in your workplace or jurisdiction.