When Greg Guanlao joined El Camino Hospital more than 14 years ago, he brought with him seven years of experience as a rehabilitation therapist. He also brought his smile, known by all at the hospital, his kindness and his never-ending thirst for knowledge.
Throughout his career in rehabilitative therapy, Greg has dedicated himself to his patients and has continuously looked for ways to improve their experience. “We have the best patients, and it is very rewarding to see them progress from struggling with mobility to being empowered so they are able to go home and take care of themselves the way they are used to. Each of their successes makes me want to do even better by them,” he said.
This drive to improve patient care led Greg to get involved with El Camino Hospital’s Safe Patient Handling Equipment Program. The program was designed to streamline current therapy equipment use and research how therapy staff could use new technologies and equipment to provide more effective and efficient patient care. In addition to leading those efforts, Greg helped ensure that all staff were properly trained to safely use equipment.
Following his dynamic work on the Safe Patient Handling Equipment Program, Greg was invited to join a hospital-wide performance improvement committee. The committee looked into overall hospital LEAN practices: how to standardize processes, how to eliminate waste in medicine practices, how to coordinate within different units of the hospital and more, all to help provide the highest standard of care to patients.
On the LEAN committee, Greg worked with staff from a variety of areas across the hospital. Through this experience, he realized something critical was missing from nursing practice – how to assess patient mobility in a standardized process to ensure the highest level of safety for the patient and staff.
“I started addressing the issue by introducing a standardized mobility assessment tool that our nursing staff can easily use,” Greg says. “This work brought about an opportunity for me to teach nursing students at the University of San Francisco about the importance of comprehensive assessment.” This is just one of the many examples of his inner drive to advance patient care protocols. Greg continues to look for ways to help keep colleagues informed of new practices that put patient and employee safety first.
To honor Greg’s commitment to improving services offered at the hospital and for the larger community, his coworkers and supervisors nominated him for the El Camino Hospital Excellence in Action award, which is given to deserving employees who go above and beyond for patients.
For Greg, a naturally humble and hardworking man, this recognition is too much. When asked, he says that he is “very honored, but in truth it is a reflection of the excellence of my team. Without a great team supporting everything we all do here at El Camino Hospital, I would not be where I am today.”