Since 1984, The Dental Centre in Broken Hill has provided high-tech dental care to its rural community. Over the years, the business has been recognised for its high-quality services, winning numerous awards including:
- Micro Business of the Year’ at the 2001 Telstra Business Awards.
- Finalist in the Social Responsibility category at the 2012 NSW Business Awards for its work in rural Australia as well as providing free dental services to Aussie rural communities and orphanages in Bali.
- The 2016 RDA Far West Award for ‘Best Small Business.’
Reliable Broadband Aids Productivity
“Our investment in technology has allowed us to be extremely productive,” says Dr Cocks. “We run a four-surgery practice with one principal dentist, two hygienists and a great team of accredited operators.”
The Dental Centre’s 12 workstations are networked to a practice management system hosted within the clinic and accessible via secure internet login. So, whether Dr Cocks and his team are onsite or connecting to the clinic’s servers via Telstra mobile broadband, they can securely manage workflow and review customer files, including the high-resolution 3D images generated by the Dental Centre’s cone beam X-ray machine.
“Our 3D equipment needs reliable data access to share quickly big files of up to 300MB each. Telstra came on board with two data connections including firewalls and modems at the same time as the upgrade of our new premises, and the services has been fantastic,” says Dr Cocks.
“We use one line to manage patient records and payments at reception and the other for the surgery, to minimise congestion,” he adds.
We had the extra broadband connection added because we need to share a lot of images.
Tracking Costs Made Easy
“I have been a Telstra customer my entire business life. Telstra provides a fantastic service in rural areas and it’s a reliable carrier,” says Dr Cocks, who regularly travels to nursing homes, Aboriginal community centres and homeless shelters around the region as part of his personal commitment to contributing to better dental health care in rural communities.
“While on the road I can log into my clinic network wherever I have mobile broadband access. I can see what’s happening in the business and access customer files. We also operate a 24/7 emergency service; the calls that come through to our clinic can be rerouted to my mobile phone,” he says.
“We’ve got Telstra SIMs in our tablets. These days with mobile data we can access entire libraries of dental knowledge quickly.” Dr Cocks adds that a major benefit of the Business Bundle plan is that it bundles his fixed phone and business broadband services.
Dr Cocks has also added two mobile voice plans and two mobile broadband plans to meet all of his communication needs while away from the office. He has one provider to deal with for upgrades and support, and a single bill to track costs. Business Bundles plans also offer free on-account calls within Australia from the nominated fixed line to up to 10 devices linked to the same Business Bundles account.
“It’s easy to manage. I use Telstra’s My Account to log in and check how we’re travelling. I can look at all the usage on data, fixed lines and mobiles and I know straightaway exactly what’s happening. It gives me great peace of mind. Another excellent thing about Business Bundles is on-account calling – I can be travelling and someone from my team will ring me from the office on my mobile phone and I know that call is going to be free.”
Giving Back to the Community
“I get a lot of personal satisfaction out of helping those people that are less fortunate than myself,” says Dr Cocks. “We travel to Queensland and the Northern Territory, packing suitcases with equipment, including a mobile X-ray machine, to provide dental care to the people there.
“I have also travelled internationally for work, mainly to Indonesia where we run a dental clinic in a small village outside of Denpasar. We’re very fortunate to have a great dental care team up there, and they’re doing a fantastic job helping disadvantaged children in Bali.”
*Originally published: April 14th 2014. Updated December 21st 2017.