After the end of the show’s first decade, General Hospital went through a transitional phase. Instead of focusing on action/adventure storylines, the show began to tackle social issues. In 1994, B.J. Jones’ heart was donated to Maxie Jones. Her mother, Dr. Tony Jones, and stepfather, Lee Baldwin, also died. Meanwhile, Dr. Monica Quartermaine lost her battle with breast cancer and adopted Emily Bowen, a teen.
Though General Hospital did not have American characters, it was largely modeled after American soap operas. In its early years, the show aired in the afternoon. However, its ratings fell in the late ’70s, when it was facing cancellation. The series survived by hiring prolific Soap Opera veteran Gloria Monty as executive producer. In the early ’80s, the show began to center around its stars, including Laura Webber Baldwin. Laura Webber Baldwin was sexually assaulted by Luke Spencer, an actor who was drunk at a campus disco.
Although general hospitals have a diverse range of products and services, they often cannot match the efficiency of specialty hospitals. They often rely on revenues from profitable services to support unprofitable ones. This cross-subsidization has been a hallmark of health care delivery in the United States for decades. Moreover, they are expected to operate at over capacity, which is a negative for patients. It is important to note that despite the challenges, the benefits of a specialty hospital are far outweighed by the downsides of general hospitals.
The complexity of a general hospital reflects the advancements in treatment and diagnostic technologies. New antibiotics, laboratory procedures, surgical techniques, and materials for complex therapies and physical therapy and rehabilitation have all made this type of hospital more complex. The administration of such a hospital is under the control of a hospital board, which sets policies and appoints the administrator and medical staff. The board also exercises control over expenditures and maintains the professional standards of care.
The show’s opening credits sequence included a voiceover by Ed Chandler. Eventually, this voiceover was replaced with the words “here on ABC”. The cast of General Hospital, including Kimberly McCullough, began introducing the next-episode previews off-camera. This format was used until the early 1990s, when mid-bumpers replaced the previews on network graphics. However, in 2008, the show stopped using the mid-break annoucement.
Specialty hospitals are increasingly gaining in number. While they are smaller than general hospitals, specialty hospitals are becoming a common sight in many metropolitan areas. Their ability to produce services at a higher level than general hospitals is a major contributing factor. Specialty hospitals are also capable of providing amenities patients want and more control over the medical process. The growth of specialty hospitals may also serve as a wake-up call for general hospitals. But whether they will expand their services remains to be seen.