A list patient system will be introduced in Norway from 2001. In England and Holland, countries with long experience with this system, the average consultation is much shorter than in the present Norwegian system. Research reports indicate a significant association between longer consultations and patient satisfaction with service as well as quality. The challenge in these countries has been to find mechanisms that reduce list size in order to enhance the quality of care.
On the basis of the author's own data and a summary of relevant literature, a model for estimating average list size in Norway is developed.
The model shows the impact of various time-consuming factors in general practice on the workload associated with a patient list.
The article describes some objective criteria for calculating a list size which corresponds to a full normal medical man-year, with due consideration for quality of care.