A Cost/Benefit Analysis
HealthRHYTHMS is a research-based group drumming program during which, in the words of Clinical Nurse Specialist Bonnie Harr, “something bigger than life happens”. A cost/benefit analysis of HealthRHYTHMS in the workplace demonstrates both quantitative and qualitative contributions. These benefits can be measured in a variety of ways:
-Return on Investment (ROI)
In order to ensure long-term success, a human resources initiative has to be accessible, affordable and sustainable. RMM clearly meets these criteria. HealthRHYTHMS does not preclude inclusion based upon physical limitations— every worker can participate. HealthRHYTHMS is also highly cost effective and sustainable. In one study, initial instrument purchases coupled with facilitator training yielded an initial first year ROI of $60.57 saved for every dollar invested based upon projected reduction in turnover. It should be noted that in terms of sustainability, offering the program in subsequent years does not require additional funding for instruments or training. And this ROI projection does not take into account the potential savings on medical expenses and workers’ compensation claims due to reductions in stress and improvements in mood. So your actual ROI may be much more.
Data gathered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that workers’ compensation claims attributable to stress increased by about 38 percent from 1992 to 2002. According to an article that appeared in the September 27th 2004 issue of Newsweek, “experts claim that 60-90 percent of doctor visits involve stress-related complaints.” On September 5th 2004, The New York Times reported that, “workplace stress costs the nation more than $300 billion each year.” Now, for the first time in the history of medicine, the successful reversal of key elements of the human stress response has been documented on the DNA level utilizing a Recreational Music-Making (RMM) strategy. (Bittman, B., 2005)
-Reduced Turnover & Burnout (18.3% Projected from Research)
The 18.3% turnover reduction was projected from an independent economic impact analysis based upon the research study conducted with long-term care workers. The actual reduction in turnover that year was 21.8%.
“I always leave feeling Lighter and Renewed” Kendall Kelley, Los Angeles, CA
Researchers at the University of Washington and Group Health Center for Health Studies shows that depressed older adults use more health care services and have 43-56 percent higher health care costs than their peers who do not suffer from depression.(Sowers, P., 2003) Stress alters neurotransmitters that regulate mood and emotion, leaving a person more susceptible to depression and anxiety. Depression can also worsen inflammatory conditions. For example, a study out of Stanford University Medical Center, Calif., discovered that people who are depressed experience two times more chronic pain than those who are not depressed.
-Increased NK Cell Activity
Controlled study showed one hour of HealthRHYTHMS Group Empowerment Drumming increases white blood cells that seek out and destroy cancer and virally infected cells (Natural Killer Cells, NK). The original study was replicated in Japan with corporate employees. Tests showed an increase in NK cell activity for participants with low pre-intervention levels and a decrease in NK cell activity for participants with over-performing NK cell activity. Strengthening of immune function may lead to better health and lower medical costs.
The value of a team empowered by mutual respect, productive communication and lower stress cannot be underestimated. HealthRHYTHMS is a tool which can be used for team empowerment. The drum allows this process to be a fun and rewarding experience which research has shown can have positive biological as well as psycho-social benefit.
“My experience with Health Rhythms has changed my life, but more importantly I see a profound change in the people with whom I work.” Lauren Daniels, MT-BC, BA