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Table 1 Key tasks in intensive care unit management

From: Bench-to-bedside review: Leadership and conflict management in the intensive care unit

Directing (leadership, internal/external) Quality management: quality assessment, continuous quality improvement, error handling, Morbidity and Mortality conferences, risk management, benchmarking, epidemiology and infection control, technology assessment
  Knowledge management: training and education (physicians and nurses), life-long-learning, participation at professional meetings and courses
  Effective communication: availability of communication technology, communication training, practise of open discussion, communication with non-ICU partners
  Research: research financing and resource provision, scientific discussion, scientific experiments and clinical studies, report of planning and results
  Medical ethics: patients' and families' advocate, teaching and discussion with ICU staff, promotion of ethical awareness and behaviour, ethics committee, co-operation with social services
  'Liason officer': patient and families, physician and nursing staff, hospital administration, department directors and medical partners, regional and professional authorities, and so on
  'Policy maker': ICU services, intra-hospital co-operation, healthcare policy, medical professional policy
Staffing Personnel resources, staff education and promotion, staff psychology and motivation, 'corporate identity', conflict management, staff advocate
Planning Change and innovation management, intra-hospital cooperation and concepts, architectural structure and ICU design, technology acquisition
Organizing Process assessment and improvement, negotiation with partners, improvement of intra-hospital processes
Budgeting Budget planning, resource allocation and utilisation, cost containment, cost/effectiveness assessment
Controlling Control of processes, time and resource use, of ICU staff atmosphere, of co-operation with non-ICU partners
Visions Improvement of structural conditions and human and physical resources, intra- and extra-hospital partners and relationships ('network')