Every Person, Every Time: A Non-Stop Commitment to Delivering the Most Advanced End-of-Life Care



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The needs of hospice patients and family caregivers never stop, and it’s the responsibility of NorthStar Care Community to provide support and guidance to ensure caregivers have somewhere to turn: to answer questions, relieve anxiety and address urgent needs whenever they occur.

Based in Michigan, NorthStar Care Community has been on the forefront of innovation in the hospice and palliative care industry for 45 years. NorthStar Care Community – anchored by two of Michigan’s legacy not-for-profit hospice providers, Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice – was an early adopter of electronic medical records, was among the first in home healthcare to use iPads to facilitate real-time documentation, and through the NorthStar Institute, one of the few hospice-focused centers of education in the country, has raised the bar on hospice education and training.

Real-Time Skills Training
One of the few dedicated end-of-life hospice simulation labs in the U.S. (and the first of its kind in Michigan), the NorthStar Hospice Simulation Lab (SIM Lab) offers hands-on tools to provide hospice clinicians advanced, real-world training focused on the mastery of both technical skills and facilitating effective conversations around death and dying. NorthStar Care Community uses this state-of-the-art training facility to improve interdisciplinary communication and decision-making skills among hospice workers – and hopes to soon share this resource with caregivers. In turn, patients benefit from an improved quality of care and a reduced risk of adverse errors.

Simulation-based education is a proven way to improve clinical skills, ensuring patients have highly trained clinicians at their bedside. NorthStar Care Community welcomes partner hospice providers to use the lab, which includes:

  • A fully furnished patient bedroom environment featuring two of the world’s most realistic clinical teaching tools: Lifecast Manikins.
  • An advanced skills lab fitted with the equipment necessary to practice on-demand skills led by clinical educators.
  • An adjacent debriefing room, or classroom, for clinical and instructional staff to review recorded SIM Lab training sessions.

In the SIM Lab, trainees review and practice clinical skills with nurse educators to ensure skill mastery prior to patient visits.

Support that Never Stops
Between visits from the hospice care team, family caregivers need to know they have the resources necessary to confidently care for their loved one. The Caregiver Support Center serves as a hub for family caregivers, providing continuity of care – on -demand 24/7 – to help them cope with the stresses of caregiving.

At the heart of the Caregiver Support Center is NorthStar Triage. Built on more than four decades of hospice expertise, this around-the-clock telephonic resource is staffed by hospice-trained Registered Nurses to provide the continuity that patients and caregivers expect and deserve.

NorthStar Nurse Educators initiate simulated patient encounters to teach trainees technical skills, as well as how to facilitate conversations around death and dying.

The SIM Lab classroom allows hospice professionals to review videotaped training sessions for advanced clinical instruction.

Whether it’s 3 p.m. or 3 a.m., NorthStar Triage RNs, experienced in hospice-based telephonic triage, quickly assess a patient’s needs and provide guidance. While most questions can be resolved over the phone, RNs expertly dispatch clinicians to patients’ homes for calls that require a bedside visit.

In addition to the continuous telephonic support available to patients and families served by Arbor Hospice and Hospice of Michigan, NorthStar Triage has expanded these services nationwide, partnering with 49 hospices to provide after-hours and weekend coverage – a service most not-for-profit hospices cannot afford to offer.

The SIM Lab includes a fully furnished, real-life patient bedroom environment featuring two state-of-the-art Lifecast Manikins – one adult and one pediatric

Expanding Access to Care
At the forefront of hospice telehealth innovation, NorthStar Live Integrated Care (LINC), a custom app, has expanded access to 24/7 clinical support. Family caregivers can now, at the touch of a button, connect with the newest layer of support within the Caregiver Support Center – a virtual care team of hospice-trained nurses.

Day or night, LINC connects patients with support through an intuitive, high-quality virtual care experience. Hospice patients can order medicine, supplies, report symptoms, review training videos and more – all without risking exposure to further illness. Family caregivers using LINC can instantly connect with a member of the virtual care team to get answers to their questions and concerns, rather than waiting for a nurse’s availability to visit the home.

The immediate response of the virtual team – whether by chat, video conference or callback – is an innovative resource for family caregivers.

The first of its kind in Michigan, NorthStar Care Community’s SIM Lab provides hospice clinicians with advanced, real-world training

Every Person, Every Time
NorthStar Care Community believes everyone has the right to the best end-of-life experience possible, filled with comfort, dignity and peace. NorthStar Care Community strives to fulfill that mission – regardless of age, diagnosis, complexity of care, place of residence or financial circumstances.

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