Pediatric Patient Panels: What is the Right Size?

Have you been struggling to determine the optimum panel size for your pediatric practice? There are a variety of factors that influence this important decision.

Professional organizations like the AMA have various metrics that can help you make this decision, but it’s important to temper those with your own judgment. After all, you are the one on the ground, and your in-depth knowledge of your patients and their needs should be central in this decision-making process.

This decision should never be made by looking only at numbers. Instead, the most logical and effective assessments are made using a combination of components.

Here are some of the factors you should consider when calculating the ideal panel size for your pediatric practice.

Age Distribution

What is the current age distribution of your practice? Considering whether your practice is in a growth or maintenance phase can help you decide how many patients each staff member can handle, and how many can be seen by your overall team.

Chronic and Complex Care Management

If your practice is caring for a large variety of patients with complex healthcare needs, you could bring in specialists for some common pediatric conditions, rather than referring out every case. These specialists influence the size of your patient panels, and can also help increase revenue and make it easier for patients to be seen by a trusted in-clinic doctor.

Acute Care Access

How late are you open? Do you offer telehealth or virtual appointments? All these factors influence the size of the patient panels that are needed to support ongoing clinic health.

There are a few other factors, including mental health access and the size and capabilities of your care teams that will also influence this critical decision.

To learn more, check out the detailed guide from Dr. Sue Kressly, MD, FAAP: Determining the Optimum Patient Panel Size.

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