Sunday, August 15, 1999

TIPSHEET


Prescription trial run brings relief

        When Dr. Thaddeus M. Bort, a Westwood physician, reached into his lab coat pocket this week for a keyboard, he held in his hand technology that might revolutionize how prescriptions are filled in America.

        The Postscript software developed by the Blue Ash firm WOTL (Way Over The Line Inc.) might succeed where others have failed because it allows physicians to order prescriptions through the Internet from a handheld keyboard and not a keyboard in a cloistered computer room. Doctors would no longer fret about formulary compliance — matching drug to insurance coverage to patient need — or whether a pharmacist can decipher their handwriting. But would it work?

        To test the technology, Ohio Board of Pharmacy officials ordered medicine from Price Hill pharmacist Donald Moore. When they arrived at Moore Pharmacy, 4486 W. Eighth St., to get the low-down, Mr. Moore had a big grin on his face. He gave the system a big thumbs up.

        Prescriptions can arrive by fax, e-mail or the pharmacist's handheld computer. “This really speeds up the process, particularly with refills,” Mr. Moore said. “And I feel it is more secure from fraud.”

        The next medical challenge for the Internet? How about the music in the doc's waiting room?

        — John Eckberg

Cincinnati as a pond
        :A little nibble, dab of bait and plenty of cash are all Larry Caldwell needs to net his next savings and loan.

        Mr. Caldwell, president and CEO of Camco Financial Corp., is fishing for another thrift. His search comes days after Camco, of Cambridge, Ohio, cast out $27.2 million to reel in the parent of Westwood Homestead Savings Bank, giving Camco entry into the Cincinnati market and continuing the evaporation of area thrifts.

        But Mr. Caldwell has been eager to expand here: His company quietly tried to buy two other Cincinnati thrifts a year ago, but was unsuccessful. Those entities have since been gobbled up, too. Now, when visiting the Queen City, Mr. Caldwell — who enjoys deep-sea fishing — carries more than a spare tire in his car: “I carry my tackle box in my trunk.”

        — Jeff McKinney

Looks better with beer
        What's this, lovin' by the pint? Amore with the bar food?

        Not exactly. While Barrel House Brewing Co. can promise beer, pizza, music and fun at its Over-the-Rhine brewery, it isn't offering sex, though the word appears in its new print ads: “Beer, food, music, fun, sex. What else is there?”

        Adding sex is just a ploy to get the reader's attention, said Mike Cromer, a partner at Barrel House in Over-the—Rhine. It's also a stab at having some fun with advertising.

        “We actually threw the sex in there to see if anybody is reading the ad,” he said. “If people have a sense of humor, people won't be offended.”

        Freedman, Gibson & White Inc. designed the campaign, which also includes an ad reading: “Behold the power of beer cheese.”

        Sex or no sex, Mr. Cromer said it works.

        “It's crazy how effective these ads are in improving our business,” he said.

        — Lisa Biank Fasig

Execs flex for benefits
        Forget the company car, free dry cleaning and tuition reimbursements. Today's executives want health club memberships.

        According to a new survey by international outplacement consulting firm Lee Hecht Harrison, 58 percent of 1,058 out-of-work managers said they would like a health club membership in their new job. Flextime ranked second, with 57 percent of votes.

        But when asked whether they actually expect to receive such benefits, only 8 percent foresee a health club membership, while 24 percent think flextime is feasible.

        — The Associated Press

Epilogue to "Salesman'
        Fifty years after Arthur Miller wrote Death of a Salesman, not only has a Broadway revival of the play won awards, but advertising copy writers have figured out an epilogue.

        A print ad for Pixion software is built around Willy Loman's grandson, who, unlike his tragic relative, doesn't have to spend his days on the road, trudging around with heavy sample cases as he tries to sell his wares.

        According to this story, the young Mr. Loman gets to sit back in his chair, never leaving the office, while he shows his products to far-flung clients over the Internet. Grandpa's sample case sits in the corner, a reminder of what life was like before telecommuting.

        — The Associated Press

        Items for Tipsheet are gathered by Enquirer business reporters and compiled by Lisa Biank Fasig of the business staff.

       



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