Zita M. Bolling, BSN, RN, MS, CPHRM, is a very positive, engaging and personable individual, working in the field of healthcare risk management. She currently is a senior patient safety risk manager at Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas, where she has been employed for approximately 1.5 years. In her current position, she supports several clinical areas including the pharmacy. Her largest client is the Women’s Infant Services Hospital (WISH), otherwise known as obstetrics and gynecology. The Labor & Delivery and Neonatal Intensive Care units keep her well occupied, with more than 12,000 babies delivered last year. Bolling has become integral to all of the WISH departments. In her role, she reviews and analyzes data, finds common causes and implements projects to mitigate risks and improve patient/family and staff outcomes. She has performed risk assessments and is in the final stages of closing a multidisciplinary Failure Mode & Effect Analysis (FMEA), focused on improving infant security.
How did she begin her career in the field of healthcare risk management?
After graduating from nursing school in West Virginia, Bolling worked in the areas of critical care and cardiology. She later assumed leadership roles such as charge nurse on the day and night shifts as well as the nursing administration supervisor, which broadened her scope of patient care. In the mid 1980s, she relocated to Texas where she secured a nursing position and quickly transitioned into hospital leadership and operations.
Always intrigued by the legal arena, when the opportunity presented itself, she went back to school and earned a paralegal certificate, which includes learning basic concepts of litigation for defense, as well as, plaintiff litigation.
“I negotiated my first job with a defense law firm and became one of the first nurse paralegals or Legal Nurse Consultants in the city of Fort Worth, Texas,” said Bolling. “After several years of employment, the hiring attorney left the law firm; however the risk management department of a near-by hospital was hiring. I applied and was successful in securing my first role in healthcare risk management, where I have worked in varying positions over the past several years.”
Why is she passionate about working in this field?
Bolling believes passion is a gift that is sought by many but possessed by few. She says that she has deeply enjoyed every aspect of her professional journey in the risk management filed and, after many years in the profession, she still gets excited about coming to work every day! Her passion is connected to her natural personality; she says she was designed for this: devotion, commitment, drive, respect, leading, coordinating, enthusiasm, organization, planning, analysis, improvement, attention to detail and team spirit.
Her passion originates in the belief that each of us is endowed with certain gifts, talents and abilities. How we decide to use these tools frames the foundation for our passion. Bolling says she is grateful for the ability, power and influence that enables her to drive change, make a difference and give back to those in need, whether they are patients, coworkers or visitors. Every day brings a new challenge and she’s passionate about success for herself and for those she encounters every day!
Her personal goals are focused on maintaining a healthy and supportive marriage, traveling abroad at least annually and providing support to her aging parents. Professionally, she is becoming more involved in ASHRM, deciding which ASHRM committee to join and aspires to publish an article in the ASHRM journal.
Author Karen Garvey, BSN, MPA/HCA, CPHRM, DFASHRM, CPPS, Patient Safety Fellow, is the vice president of Safety & Clinical Risk Management for Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas. With more than 25 years of healthcare experience, she has held leadership roles in nursing, clinical risk management and patient safety at the local health system and corporate levels and has experience in health systems whose footprints reach beyond the United States. On the Board of Directors of the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management, Garvey is a member of the ASHRM teaching faculty and represented the organization in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, April 2016, where she and a colleague were invited to teach a healthcare risk management class.