General Hospital has been on the air for over four decades and is the longest-running soap opera on television. It has received critical acclaim for its sensitive handling of social issues, including the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The show has also featured a heart transplant storyline, which was introduced in 1994. The character B.J. Jones, the daughter of Dr. Tony and Bobbie Jones, died in a bus crash and was later donated a heart by her father. The show has also been nominated for Daytime Emmy awards and won one for Kimberly McCullough.
The show was first produced by Plitt Theatres and Selmur Productions and was then purchased by ABC. In 1968, it became part of the American Broadcasting Companies, which later merged with Capital Cities/ABC, Inc. In 1996, Disney purchased the show and began airing it on the Disney network.
While General Hospital did well in its first years on the air, its ratings have steadily declined. In the Nielsen ratings, it often fell between third and fifth. During this time, two other soaps, CBS’s The Bold and the Beautiful and NBC’s Another World, dominated the nighttime landscape. For two years, ABC was prepared to cancel the show if it did not improve. Eventually, the network expanded the show to a full hour, giving the producers six months to improve ratings.
A general hospital is a multi-disciplinary medical facility. Its complexity reflects advances in diagnostic and treatment technologies. In the 20th century, we have seen advances in antibiotics, laboratory procedures, and surgical techniques. In addition to these advances, hospitals have introduced sophisticated physical therapy equipment and rehabilitation services. General hospitals are governed by a board of directors, which is responsible for ensuring that the hospital is run efficiently. The board appoints the administrator and medical staff, and exercises control over expenditures. In addition, it maintains standards of professionalism.
Often, general hospitals serve a dual role as teaching hospitals. Many of these facilities are affiliated with universities, which allows them to provide students with advanced training in specialized clinical disciplines. In addition, community general hospitals may also have pharmacies, laboratories, and physical therapy departments. They may also offer obstetrics units, nurseries, and recovery rooms. Some of these hospitals may diagnose and stabilize patients before they are sent to specialized hospitals.