Clinical Information Systems have been identified by the Institute of Medicine as a viable solution for mitigating medical errors. In order for these systems to be widely adopted they have to be designed to conform to the workflows within complex care settings. We studied the workflows within two highly complex settings (emergency care and outpatient clinic) within a large metropolitan hospital system. We found inefficiencies that could be improved by the use of clinical information systems. These tended to focus on improved communication among staff, mobile data access and entry, and better situational awareness and task orientation within highly interruptive care settings. We propose some software and hardware design elements that could be adopted to make clinical information systems in these settings more efficient and user-friendly.