Sandra Vyhlidal & Shawn Mueller

Care, Cooperative and Committed

Sandra Vyhlidal & Shawn Mueller

Sandra Vyhlidal, RN, MSN, CIC & Shawn Mueller, MSN, RN, CIC

Sandra Vyhlidal, RN, MSN, CIC, an infection preventionist at Nebraska Methodist Hospital started a mentoring relationship with Shawn Mueller, MSN, RN, CIC, in 2000, while the former was an environmental epidemiologist at Bryan Lincoln General Hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Sandra’s professional guidance has had a significant impact on Shawn’s career and has provided an example of what it truly means to be an APIC chapter member. “I was an experienced infection practitioner who had implemented a successful preventative strategy that was of interest to Shawn,” said Vyhlidal. “Drawn together by this mutual interest of improving surgical patients’ outcomes, we developed a strong relationship, both professionally and personally to tackle surgical site infections (SSIs). Shawn’s hospital was experiencing surgical site infections, and she and I discussed my project of implementing antimicrobial gauze dressings, designed to reduce SSI. Because my experience was so successful, Shawn decided to use the same product and she had the same success. The project for both hospitals produced a positive patient outcome, as well as being cost effective.”

Mueller’s house-wide implementation of antimicrobial impregnated gauze dressings led to a 24.1 percent reduction in SSI rates and cut MRSA infection rates by almost half, for a hospital cost savings of more than $500,000 over two years.

Seasoned professionals (like Vyhlidal) need to share their knowledge with the new generation that is emerging,” said Mueller.