Hospitals in the US serving a disproportionately large number of poor patients are lagging behind in electronic health records (EHR) adoption and could lead to a digital divide, according to new research.

Researchers used data from the first national survey examining EHR adoption in 2,368 acute care hospitals and focused on those with a large share of poor patients, according to Health Affairs.

Lack of capital was the main barrier to embracing EHR adoption and a concerted effort from policymakers was needed to avert a serious digital divide, researchers said.