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Clinical Tools, Inc.

Clinical Tools, Inc. (CTI) is a small, physician-run business dedicated to harnessing the potential of the internet to create scalable, usable, and broadly available tools to improve the ability of physicians and other health care providers to care for patients. We achieve this goal by providing education and training to students and professionals and creating Web-based support tools for clinicians, researchers, and consumers. Information technology can and should serve as a stable framework that supports researchers and clinicians in their roles. We provide dissemination and management tools that empower clinicians and consumers to understand and control the vast amount of information related to making individual health choices. We serve our clients creatively, effectively, and with the highest quality of service.

Clinical Tools, Inc. is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. The ACEP solely is responsible for all aspects of the activity.


To improve outcomes of patients with obesity or at risk for obesity through coordinated PC/mobile web-based tools for:

  1. Provider practice change via deliberate practice-based simulation training,
  2. Patient health management and communication with providers, and
  3. Clinic leader and health care organization implementation of the activity.


Project Title: Improving Obesity Outcomes through Interactive Web-Based Clinical Skills Training

Phase II, NIH Grant #R43DK091144
Dates: 11/01/2010-07/31/2014

Bradley Tanner, MD (Co-Principal Investigator - contact)

Mary P. Metcalf (Co-Principal Investigator)

About Impact Obesity

The ImpactObesity.com CME provides skills training for Primary Care Providers on the topic of overweight and obesity prevention and treatment. The activity includes 10 modules that use cases to simulate real life patient encounter scenarios. ImpactObesity is designed to improve 1)provider competence and performance and 2)patient Outcomes. The site is created and maintained by Clinical Tools, Inc.


Improving Obesity Outcomes through Interactive Web-Based Clinical Skills Training
Assess Intervention

The dire implications of the adult obesity epidemic grow worse over time. Despite front page coverage and universal agreement that the epidemic in weight gain and secondary disease establishment must be addressed, the problem continues.

Intended Impact: We propose to improve outcomes of patients with obesity or at risk for obesity via a PC/mobile web-based product called ImpactObesity.com that delivers coordinated tools for:

  1. Providers to enhance their clinical skills and effect practice change through deliberate practice via case-based simulation training, and,
  2. Adult patients to work with their providers to manage weight and health issues by providing
    • integrated tools based on standardized instruments and existing training resources to track weight, BMI, waist circumference, diet, and activity,
    • Graph changes over time, and
    • communicate that data as well as experience with the providers
  3. Clinic leaders and health care organizations to implement the activity

Phase I successfully demonstrated product feasibility and acceptability of proceeding with Phase II by:

  1. Integrating the comments from the prior review of Phase I into the work done in Phase I and the Phase II proposal
  2. Completing target audience needs analysis surveys and semi-structured interviews, working with consultants, and creating the curriculum framework and prototype (located at www.ImpactObesity.com),
  3. Demonstrating acceptability and usability for PCPs via a usability study and a small pilot study
  4. Recruiting clinic locations for the Phase II summative study.
  5. Coordinating an expert panel assessment that in turn expressed confidence that the project should proceed

Phase II completed the activity and is now finalizing clinic locations for summative study. We will evaluate the activity using a randomized, wait-list control design. We will assess if the intervention improves health professionals' core competencies and demonstrates better training as shown by competency, performance, clinical, and communication skills and improved treatment behavior related to obesity prevention. A parallel study will assess patient outcomes. Working in sync, patients and primary care providers can be active participants in slowing and eventually reversing the trend.

Public Health Significance

Patient Centered

Approximately 1/3 of American adults are considered obese (body mass index [BMI] ≥ 30), and slightly more are overweight (BMI 25 to 29.9). Obesity increases the risk of a number of chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain forms of cancer and is associated with disability and premature death. Our ImpactObesity.com PC/mobile web-based product impacts patients with overweight and obesity via:

  1. Deliberate practice-based training of providers,
  2. A data collection tool for patients, and
  3. Improved communication between patients and providers.

Via this unique capability, this project can improve the health and wellness of patients with overweight and obesity and address the public health challenge of adult obesity and its medical consequences.