This family care physician touts the value of the Medical Home concept.
Dr. Mary Coleman was initially attracted to Family Medicine because it is a practice that focuses closely on relationships, and also one that offers a great deal of variety in her daily patient activities.
“I like taking care of families,” Dr. Coleman says, “and being able to get to know people in greater depth.”
A graduate of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Dr. Coleman has been with the LSU Department of Family Medicine since 2011. She and her fellow physicians provide a broad scope of acute and ambulatory care, along with preventive medicine and patient education, for children, adults and seniors.
“We pride ourselves on our ability to build long-term care relationships with our patients and the community,” Dr. Coleman says. “It’s not unusual for us to treat both the grandchildren and the grandparents in a single family! Our care has a global perspective, and we focus on the continuous improvement of a patient’s quality of life in a variety of specialties and across all stages of life.”
This global perspective that makes Family Medicine so rewarding for Dr. Coleman is also what she values most about the “Medical Home.” This is not an actual place; it’s a concept. It is a philosophy of team-based primary care that follows five basic principles — patient-centered, comprehensive, coordinated, accessible, and focused on quality and safety. Dr. Coleman and the physicians who follow this model strive to achieve primary care excellence by offering the right type of care at the right time, and in the manner that best suits a patient’s needs.
“The Medical Home is focused on treating the whole patient by integrating all parts of the medical community,” Dr. Coleman says. “We give patients enhanced access to care when and how they need it.”
This comprehensive, patient-centered approach forms a partnership between physician and patient to ensure a patient has the education and support needed to actively participate in his own care. That care is provided by a team of physicians who are wholly accountable for a patient’s physical and mental health care needs, including prevention and wellness, acute care and chronic care.
The Medical Home philosophy combines old-fashioned practice with thoroughly modern technology. It blends the type of personalized, comprehensive care that family physicians have been offering for decades, while capitalizing on new technology — all while helping patients make sense of the increasingly complex health care system.
“We can offer same-day appointments,” Dr. Coleman says. “Whether they are in-office, over the phone, on the web or, if necessary, in the patient’s home. We find that in-person visits might not always be necessary, when a phone consultation can provide a patient with the information they need. It’s all about a patient’s access to a physician.”
The Medical Home offers many of the modern conveniences to which we have all grown accustomed, such as e-mail communication, quality ratings and pricing information, secure online tools to help consumers manage their health information, plus appointment reminders and support-group access. While it is steadily gaining popularity in the greater New Orleans community, the Medical Home has become a widely accepted model in other markets for how primary care should be organized and delivered throughout the health care system.
“We are able to use data in a way we never did before,” Dr. Coleman says. “With the data we gather through e-records, we can monitor improvements across the whole population, as well as focus on treating the individual patient.”
In 2014, following a lengthy application process, Dr. Coleman and her fellow family practice physicians within the LSU Healthcare Network achieved a “PCMH-Level 2” accreditation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance, making their group a certified Medical Home.
Dr. Mary T. Coleman, MD, PhD
St. Charles Ave. Multi-Specialty
3700 St. Charles Ave., 6th Floor
New Orleans, LA 70115
The Ohio State University, College of Medicine, Columbus, OH
Riverside Methodist Hospital, Columbus, OH
Biochemical Neuropathology, NIH Research Service Award, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
American Board of Family Medicine