In an older WotC article by David Noonan, it is suggestive that monsters last around 5 rounds. How exactly this is implemented, the article does not state precisely.

Perhaps this "5 rounds" means the number of times it takes to hit a monster, before it is killed by the players?

To investigate this question, we need to recall a few things.

Recall that the average number of attacks it takes to hit a monster N times is N/p, where p is the probability of hitting a monster.

Also recall that the average amount of damage done by one attack is p avg(D), where D is the damage dice (ie. such as 1d6+2) and p is the probability of hitting a monster. (avg(D) is the expectation value of D).

If a monster dies after being hit N times, it will take on average N/p attacks to kill it. So on average the number of hit points it should have, is the average number of attacks multiplied by the average amount of damage done by each attack. Assuming each attack is done by the same player with the same weapon on the same monster, the number of hit points the monster should have is:

(N/p)(p avg(D)) = N avg(D)

Interesting that the number of monster hit points in this scenario, is independent of the probability to hit the monster. N avg(D) is only dependent on the number of hits a monster will take before dying, and the average damage done by the player.