Saratoga Technologies Expands Again!
Business Event Press Release December 31, 2003
Johnson City, TN -- 12/31/2003 -- Saratoga Technologies, located at 503 Princeton Road, Johnson City, has acquired Central Computing Services, formerly located at 4471 N. Roan Street, Johnson City. This acquisition marks the fourth of its kind for Saratoga Technologies in just 2 years. Saratoga Technologies is growing to become the biggest and most professional information technologies solution company in the region.
"Saratoga is now able to offer customers of Central Computing Services the same great services and products that our own customers have enjoyed over the past 2 years," said David Temple, President of Saratoga Technologies.
"I was looking to sell my business and chose Saratoga Technologies to ensure that my customers would be taken care of and given outstanding service," said Valerie Walters, former owner of Central Computing Services.
Saratoga Technologies will be consolidating the business of Central Computing Services at their current location of 503 Princeton Road, Johnson City, TN. Saratoga also has offices in Greeneville and Knoxville, locally as well as global offices in South Africa and Great Britain.
For more information about Sratoga Technologies or the merger, please call Tim Story, Chief Operations Officer at 423-282-4220.
Incorporated in the US in 2001, Saratoga Technologies is the regional leader in Information Technology Solutions, including hardware, internet solutions and custom software. Most of the region's leading companies use Saratoga Technologies for their I.T. needs.
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SURVEYNOW – A new Paperless Tool
Article by Quinne Bryant, Friday, December 19, 2003
Patient satisfaction surveys are extremely useful tools for hospitals in evaluating their performance in health care against national benchmarks.
However, paper-based surveys mailed to patients' homes weeks after their medical experiences occur elicit low response rates, delayed feedback, and the formation of biases due to the passage of time since the medical encounters took place.
Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA) has implemented a new technology that grants its emergency room patients at Johnson City Medical Center (JCMC) and North Side Hospital (NSH) the ability to answer customer care survey questions before they even leave the emergency services areas.
The SurveyNow‘ customer satisfaction measurement system is a paperless, portable survey tool enabling patients to respond to survey questions on a hand-held Palm‘. The bedside survey's ease of use, combined with the fact that data can be instantly downloaded to a web site for immediate application, makes it an invaluable patient-centered care tool for the two MSHA hospitals.
Developed by Johnson City's Saratoga Technologies, Inc., SurveyNow‘
enables patients to input information on their satisfaction with such issues as emergency room wait time, courtesy and helpfulness of caregivers and physician interaction.
"To use the hand-held technology in a way that reduces cost, makes you more efficient, more productive, and gives you real-time results is a great solution," says Saratoga Technologies president and CFO David Temple.
"The timing [of this product] is outstanding because the federal government is talking about tying reimbursement to patient satisfaction," says Saratoga Technologies chairman Chris Gillespie, M.D., who is also medical director of JCMC's emergency services."They see that as an important part of the delivery of health care, and believe it is measurable.
"Those patient satisfaction scores are going to have to meet certain
standards, and those standards will be looked at," he adds."They're scoring hospitals on quality of care. How well is your bypass patients, your surgical patients, your hip replacement patients are doing? What's your infection rate? Your survival rate?They decided to add patient satisfaction to that, and some of these things are actually being posted on the internet.”
"Emergency departments in general are a tough environment with waiting and lots of high expectations," Gillespie continues, "and in our local market, patient satisfaction is obviously a huge issue for us. MSHA has devoted a lot of effort and energy (to patient satisfaction)
in all of its facilities.
"SurveyNow‘ is the ideal tool because I can get good information right now," he says. "We've had a case where our nurse director intervened in a situation in less than 24 hours over just a simple rudeness situation, with a person who was not even working in the emergency
department. The issue was in another department, and the director of that department was made aware of it and dealt with it.
"SurveyNow‘ is very powerful. It has its vital role in the overall delivery of care, and I think it's critical," Gillespie adds.
"Patients do better when they're happier, and providers do better when the patients are happier. It's very important from the reimbursement standpoint, but it directly impacts patient care, and I can do something now and measure the change very quickly."
Printed with permission of The Business Journal of Tri-Cities TN/VA. http://www.bjournal.com/
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Productivity Critical to Economic Growth
Article by Scott Emerine, Friday, December 19, 2003
The Industrial Revolution led to significant improvements in productivity, but the revolution in information technology has failed to live up to the same standard until recently, according to John A. Temple, owner and founder of Saratoga Technologies, Inc. Temple travels the world speaking on the topic of where technology is going. He has spoken in Sydney, Australia, the Phillipines, Malaysia and most recently in Kingsport, Tenn., to members of the Northeast Tennessee Technology Council (NETTC). “There are two macro trends in technology that are going to shape the world of the future,” says Temple. “The first is information technology (IT). We are only in the beginning stages. We are about at the level of where the Model-T car was in the 20s. We have a long way to go. The second area of growth is in biological sciences.” Temple says that gains in productivity is the best economic indicator. Over the last few decades the Department of Labor has shown that productivity gains have been minimal until recently.
“During the industrial revolution productivity raised about one percent. One percent created the huge economic growth that we have witnessed in this country over the last 100 years,” explains Temple. “We are now looking at numbers that are vastly different. Over the last twelve months there has been a 4.1% growth in productivity. That is a very significant improvement in productivity. The consensus among most economists is that the level will stay near 2.5%. They are predicting that it could stay at that level for the foreseeable future,” he explains.
Growth in productivity can be linked directly to income levels. At 1.4% productivity income levels will double in 50 years. At 2.5% incomes double in 28 years according to Temple.
“If productivity is the major driver of economic growth and wealth, then IT has not yet made an impact. That might sound strange when it has been so ubiquitous. So where is IT going? IT is now going to be a major contributor to productivity, and we are beginning to see major impacts of IT,”says Temple. “The days of IT for IT’s sake are over. Companies have gotten to the point where they are asking, ‘what is in this for me?’” Temple says the real opportunity for growth is not in the writing of software but in the application of it. “Coding is not the industry we should be focusing on. What we need to focus on here are the applications. We need to ask ourselves, what are the applications and how can we run them from this part of the world,” Temple says. “We are not going to employ a great deal of people writing software in this country anymore. But you can employ a great deal of people by the use of of the software.”
E-billing, E-ticketing, E-Banking, online-training, virtual communities are among the many application changes in recent years he says that have contributed to productivity gains.
Increases in productivity will not necessarily correlate with new job creation. “There is a shift in jobs overseas. Jobs will be lost. Productivity will not actually save jobs, but it will grow wealth. If a nation has more wealth, you can afford to bleed off five or 10% of the wealth to help those who can’t find work,” Temple says. Organizations like the NETTC help are vital to growth in a region according to Temple.
“We had a wonderful economist from Capetown, South Africa,” Temple recalls. Capetown organized a group similar to the NETTC. “During all the recessions that South Africa went through, Cape Town continued grow. It was incredible. We went the technology route. We set up a technology park. We supplied all the infrastructure that was needed to help start-ups. It caused a lot of technological growth which caused a lot of growth in Capetown.”
The NETTC can be reached at 423-279-9000 or by visiting their website at http://www.netntech.org.
Printed with permission of The Business Journal of Tri-Cities TN/VA. www.bjournal.com.
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The sky may be the limit, but... Saratoga's leaders combine tech savvy, business acumen
Article by Quinne Bryant, Monday, November 3, 2003
Where can businesses get value-added solutions that both saves them money and spares them the headache of staying up-to-speed on ever-changing technology?
One company providing "total solutions" is Saratoga Technologies Inc., headquartered in Johnson City, Tenn. Offering an extensive line of products and services, Saratoga can solve its customers' hardware, networking, web design, accounting, human resource, and software issues, presenting businesses a complete package that essentially allows those companies to outsource their entire IT functions.
A subsidiary of Saratoga Technologies in Cape Town, South Africa, Saratoga in Johnson City was founded two years ago by South African native David Temple, president and CFO.
"Our mission at this company is to become more efficient and effective, using technologies that are there in a real way to try to help provide solutions to our clients, tailored to their
needs, that specifically will improve them," says Temple.
Desiring to change careers during the
late 1990s in South Africa, Temple took a hard look at business opportunities that would take advantage of the internet explosion that was occurring at the same time.
"We really honed in on the information technology area, but specifically used web technology to make businesses more efficient and effective," he says. "We were looking to bring a lot of our sales focus and marketing into the U.S. With our South African technology, we realized
that we could bring that to the table here and compete successfully."
Temple chose Johnson City to launch his business due to family ties here, and bought the former ComputerWorks company in 2001. The company expanded a year later with the purchase of Com-Tek, also in Johnson City, and then again this past summer with the acquisition
of All-Tek in Greeneville. The Saratoga Solutions software office in Knoxville rounds out the company's U.S. picture.
Following the purchase of ComputerWorks, Saratoga began to focus on growing its local customer base and adding on the software realm for which it is known in South Africa.
"We still sell computers and service and support that. That's a very important part of our business," says Temple. "But the add-on now is [increasing] the value to our customers, adding the software, complete solutions. People don't realize that they don't need their own IT person. Something that's costing them thousands of dollars a month can cost far less. We can be much more productive, efficient, and effective on their site, and, contrary to what people think, at less cost.
"We've been on the ground with businesses," he adds. "It's not a question of trying to design IT things that are way up in the sky that you are going to then try to find a client for. It's looking at real customer need and trying to help, and then adding real value and performing at a high service level."
Saratoga Technologies has developed two major product lines in its software division, both of which are providing tremendous value for its customers and are poised for marketing on a national scale. The company has designed custom software solutions for the gas utilities
sector, which is already being utilized in the local region.
Additionally, Saratoga's SurveyNow!, developed in South Africa and already successfully in place for that country's largest private health care provider, has been launched in the U.S. at two Mountain States Health Alliance hospitals as well as the Veteran's Affairs Medical Center.
SurveyNow! uses state-of-the-art technology in a management tool that offers hospitals a paperless method of measuring patient satisfaction. The survey data is then downloaded directly to a web site and is instantly accessible for immediate application in making improvements in patient care.
"The timing [of this product] is outstanding because the federal government is talking about tying reimbursement to patient satisfaction," says Saratoga Technologies chairman Chris Gillespie, M.D. "They see that as an important part of the delivery of health care, and believe it is measurable. Those scores are going
to have to meet certain standards. SurveyNow! has its vital role in the overall delivery of care. It directly impacts patient care, and I can do something now and measure the change very quickly."
The SurveyNow! Technology is also applicable for other platforms, according to Temple.
"You can use it not only in health care but also in the restaurant, airline, banking industries -- anywhere you want to get immediate feedback from people, which is just about unlimited," he says. "It's a really good product, and it's an example of a product that's come out of our vision and some of the things that we've started to do with our customers. Customer satisfaction is actually key to any business, and if you're going to keep your customers, you need to know what they're expecting.
"That's why we've managed to close some large accounts in this area," Temple adds. "We can offer a complete solution, a complete service to our customer base. We got those contracts on a basis of service, quality and price."
The recent formation of partnerships with clients such as Milligan College and Frontier Health bears out that dedication to quality and service. The Milligan partnership enables the college to increase its IT capabilities and enhance learning for its students while contributing to a solid skills base in the region.
"The key to Saratoga's growth is going to be having the right people as well as the right product," says Temple. "We have good sources of IT people here. That's a strength of this area, and we have to start employing them. That's what we want to do. We have the people and the training facilities here. If we do grow our skills base in this area, we can grow the economy of this whole area.
"Our goal as a business is to grow as well, maybe beyond our own expectations," Temple adds. "My expectations are high, and I do expect us to grow. Just this year, we're going to be twice the size of last year. Over the next five years I'd like to see us ten times our [current] size, and I think that's realistic. We've got the people, the products, and the vision.
"But in all of that, I want to put a cap on it and say we want to be the best," he says. "If it means reducing our quality in any area, we'll slow the growth and make sure we deliver the quality. If we can't back our products with outstanding service and support, we're not going to do it. In being the best we'll grow."
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Real Time Patient Satisfaction Tool helps JCMC, North Side Hospital to improve Emergency Services
Announced on Friday, July 18, 2003
Johnson City, TN (July 11, 2003) - Out of Africa to the Emergency Departments (ED) of Johnson City Medical Center (JCMC) and North Side Hospital (NSH), has come a unique, technological advancement in patient-centered care - SurveyNow™. Accessible through a hand-held Palm™, the survey is a series of customized questions aimed
at gauging the care received by patients treated at the Level I Trauma Center and at its sister-hospital, North Side. The two MSHA hospitals are the first in the United States to implement use of this system.
The SurveyNow™, a customer satisfaction measurement system, is compact, portable, user-friendly and rests in a cradle to allow data to be downloaded directly to a computer for translation into measurable information. ED patients at both JCMC and NSH have been invited over the past several months to help in a pilot program that was initiated March 17, 2003.
According to Saratoga Technologies Inc. President, David Temple, “This is the first stop in America with JCMC and NSH being the first in the United States to have this technology.”
Patients who have been treated in the EDs of both JCMC and NSH, have been invited by caregivers to take the survey - customized for Mountain States Health Alliance - prior to their
discharge from the emergency services areas at each hospital. The survey is completely confidential and requires that patients answer questions on the hand-held Palm™. Patients respond to the survey questions by selecting
icons, which depict images ranging from a smiley face to a frowning face. The questions are designed to indicate satisfaction with everything from courtesy, wait time, helpfulness
of caregivers and physician interaction.
There are two sample questions at the beginning of the survey to help patients move through the computerized offering. For Hampton, Tenn., resident Michael Jenkins, the bedside survey was easy to use and took little time once he was given a brief overview of how to use the survey device. “I like this,” Jenkins, who was being seen for a laceration to his thumb.
“This allows us to know what we are doing to please our customers and what we are doing that may not be as pleasing for patients as far as the services we provide in the emergency room,” said Registered Nurse Pam Kubisiak, who serves as a shift leader and has more than 25 years of experience. “Real-time is very important … it’s valuable on the frontline in the ER. We know right then what a patient perceives to be good.”
Coupled with Press Ganey, another customer-satisfaction survey for healthcare providers, the SurveyNow™ will help caregivers to streamline services and identify areas for improvement as MSHA continues to improve its quality care and excellence.
According to MSHA Senior Director of Guest Services Tom Tull, the uniqueness of immediate feedback coupled with the strength of the measurement through Press Ganey, has enabled the providers to create services that not only meet high standards in quality, but also meet and exceed patients’ expectations for the encounter.
“The care teams at JCMC and NSH are creating a great overall emergency treatment experience,” Tull said. “Mountain States is making continuing strides improving the patient care experience based on the aspects most important to patients and families.”
“SurveyNow™ has huge merit because this provides you with immediate feedback,” said Washington County Facilities Chief Nursing Officer Judy Ingala. “With this system, we may be able to make patient-care improvements or increase patient-satisfaction at the time a patient is still in the ED.”
Ingala also said that caregivers must also be “ready to understand that concurrent satisfaction can be based on two or three surveys.” Press Ganey provides national comparisons not yet available through Saratoga Technologies, she said.
“The real-time technology offers a way for MSHA caregivers to do some troubleshooting by unit. Press Ganey, the ‘gold standard’ for comparing JCMC to other like-systems, gives a more longitudinal method of scoring our patient-centered care initiatives,” the administrator added.
In fact, the SurveyNow™ questions replicated those questions made available to discharged patients through Press Ganey. The Press Ganey questions arrive at the homes of former patients, received confidentially by mail and calculated for comparison with other facilities nationwide.
By using these patient-satisfaction tools, MSHA officials will be able to
gain a better understanding of how to make necessary improvements throughout the system that will further support patient-centered care initiatives. Both Dr. Chris Gillespie and Dr. E.C. Goulding III have been instrumental in helping MSHA gain this technology.
“SurveyNow™ is an excellent, real-time patient-satisfaction measurement tool that has been beneficial in helping me as I deal with issues in the emergency department at JCMC,” said Dr. Gillespie, Medical Director at JCMC. “Specifically, we can follow a number of parameters of patient satisfaction: courtesy, communication and patient perception of pain management. We get real-time information such that we can intervene in a timely manner to improve if we aren’t doing well in a certain area.”
"The emergency department at North Side Hospital was excited to have the opportunity to be one of the first hospitals in the country with this new technology for our patients," said Dr. E.C. Goulding, Medical Director at NSH. "Real-time responses enable us to make improvements faster than before."
There are five Palm™ devices at JCMC and two at NSH. All data collected from patients at each facility is accessible via the Internet through Saratoga Technologies.
Saratoga Technologies developed the SurveyNow™ Palm™ technology at the request of the largest, private hospital group in South Africa - Netcare Hospital Group. Netcare was seeking a tool to help improve
productivity, increase patient satisfaction and improve services.
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Saratoga Technologies acquires ALL-TEK
Announced on Wednesday, June 18, 2003
Saratoga Technologies, the Johnson City based IT company, has acquired 100% of the business of All-Tek in Greeneville, TN. All-Tek fits neatly into Saratoga's strategy in that it offers computer networks, software and support for all of its services. It has been in existence since 1980 and has an established customer base.
Saratoga will service all existing customers but intends developing the Greenville market further, offering its full range of products and services as a "one stop" supplier. New offerings will include its PALM based customer survey system ("SurveyNow") and its software for Utility companies.
Since its founding in 2001 Saratoga has made three acquisitions and successfully integrated them into a fast growing and successful local IT company.
The current Offices of All-Tek will be maintained at East Gate Shopping Center - 811 Tusculum Blvd - Greeneville, TN 37745. Telephone number - (423) 638-7711.
For further information contact David Temple (President) on 423 282 4220 or visit the websites at www.saratogaus.com or www.saratogasurvey.com.
Issued by P A van der Merwe, June 18, 2003.
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DR. Chris Gillespie appointed Chairman of Saratoga Technologies Inc.
Announced on Friday, July 11, 2003
Johnson City, TN (July 11, 2003) - Saratoga Technologies, headquartered in Johnson City, TN, announced Dr. Chris Gillespie as their new Chairman at the annual Saratoga Liberty Celebration which took place on July 3, 2003. Dr. Gillespie takes over from Dr. John Temple who will remain as a non-executive director.
Dr. Gillespie is the President & CEO of Medical Management Services Incorporated of Johnson City, TN, President and CEO of Johnson City Emergency Physicians of Johnson City, TN, Medical Director of the Johnson City Medical Center Emergency Department, and Medical Director of the Johnson County Health Center in Mountain City, TN. Dr. Gillespie has an undergraduate degree from Memphis State University and his medical degree is from The University of Tennessee at Memphis. He has been a practicing Emergency Physician since 1985. Dr. Gillespie and his wife Carol, who have resided in Johnson City since 1990, have been married for 35 years and have 3 children and 3 grandchildren. Previous to coming to Johnson City, Dr. Gillespie was Medical Director at a Memphis Hospital.
Saratoga Technologies, with offices in Johnson City, TN, Greeneville, TN, Knoxville, TN, Cape Town, South Africa, and London, England is a leading supplier of technology solutions in the East Tennessee region. It is uniquely positioned to provide complete Information Technology (IT) solutions to small, medium or large clients. Saratoga Technologies feels Dr. Gillespie brings vast experience and leadership skills and strengthens Saratoga's position in the medical community. Saratoga's world first real-time customer survey system ("SurveyNow") is currently being used within Mountain States Health Alliance as well as the James H. Quillen V.A. Medical Center.
For further information contact David Temple (President) on 423 282 4220 or visit the websites at www.saratogaus.com or http://www.saratogasurvey.com.
Issued by R Oyler, July 11, 2003.
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Milligan and Saratoga partner in Strategic Technology Venture
Announced on Thursday, June 12, 2003
MILLIGAN COLLEGE, TN (June 12, 2003) - Despite sharing in the same challenge that many colleges are facing of an ever-tightening budget, Milligan College announced today a partnership with local company Saratoga Technologies that will put $100,000 worth of new computers on the college campus this summer alone.
The partnership and plan will provide a major technology upgrade on Milligan's campus, improving "backbone" infrastructure, personal computers, and servers. Saratoga will deliver 100 Pentium 4 units to the campus this summer to replace aging computers in the college's computer labs and several campus offices. Saratoga will also install two new servers at Milligan this fall.
"This is part of a proactive plan the college is implementing to consistently cycle new computers and servers into the college's network and stabilize information technology expenses," said Milligan President Donald R. Jeanes. "It is precisely because of the tight budgets the college is facing that we have sought out a more proactive strategy. This measure will help to ensure that our ability to serve students with advances in technology is not subject to budget constraints."
The college's overall technology initiative is funded largely through Milligan's J. Henry Kegley Endowment Fund for Technology. Established in 1995, this fund helped Milligan establish the college's initial computer network system, making Milligan one of the first colleges in the nation to utilize fiber optic cabling to connect all offices and dormitories.
According to Mike Smith, director of information technology at Milligan, the plan calls for Milligan to replace PCs every four years and the servers every five years. By replacing newer PCs and then handing those PCs down to replace older equipment, Smith said the college hopes to increase the desktop power for more users. The college will upgrade 206 different computer stations on campus each year.
Milligan's plan also calls for an infrastructure upgrade that will include making wireless connectivity to the network possible in several campus locations.
When the college decided to implement its replacement cycle plan earlier this year, they did some comparison shopping nationwide but decided on local company Saratoga Technologies, explained Smith.
"Our decision came down to price, performance and service, and Saratoga won on all accounts," said Smith. "We are continuing a 10-year relationship with Saratoga - previously ComputerWorks. They have always provided exemplary service."
Saratoga Technologies ,headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa, with offices in Johnson City and Knoxville, is a leading supplier of technology solutions in the East Tennessee region. It is uniquely positioned to provide complete Information Technology (IT) solutions
to small, medium or large clients. "The type of partnership level consultation Saratoga provides is a value-added dimension because of the decades of experience their staff brings to the table," said Jeanes. "Saratoga is able to bring the experience they have working with large international business clients to bear in a case like this, and the college will realize savings and new capabilities because of it."
Jeanes stated that Saratoga was able to help the college envision a plan that might otherwise have seemed impossible.
"We are excited about partnering with Milligan College on this new venture," agreed Saratoga president and CFO, David Temple. "Not only are we able to provide them world-class networking and service capabilities and technical expertise, but we believe in Milligan and see the college as a tremendous asset to this region."
Temple stated that the approach the college is taking is one that they encourage all of their clients to pursue because it positions them for future success and staying ahead of the technology curve.
"We are particularly interested in the role technology plays in the college's academic programs," said Temple.
He explained, for example, that the college's new MBA program provides a laptop computer to each student and incorporates an online distributive learning component in the program's 18-month curriculum.
"This is a creative and service-oriented use of technology because it allows working students to be on campus only one Friday evening and Saturday each month, minimizing the amount of time they are away from family and work," he said.
Milligan currently provides each student with network access, e-mail and groupware applications, and online access to extensive campus services such as instructional resources and the library catalog system. Each residence hall room and apartment features a high-speed data connection to the campus network and Internet.
"Technology changes so rapidly that it is challenging to keep up, but that is a commitment we have to our students and we have made it part of the college's long range strategic funding initiatives. This replacement cycle program is the best route for us to ensure that Milligan continues to serve our students with up-to-the-minute technology which will prepare them for their future roles in society," said Jeanes.
MILLIGAN COLLEGE is a nationally recognized Christian liberal arts college in Northeast, Tenn., whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The college offers more than two-dozen academic programs, including three master's degrees. To learn more about Milligan College, visit www.milligan.edu or call 800-447-5922.
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