WHO HPH Recognition Project

The WHO-HPH Recognition Project on Fast-Track Implementation of Clinical health promotion is now being finalized. Though we did not reach all the hospital departments expected (80), the study with the current 48 included departments will still be the largest RCT in this area world wide.
All data will be published as soon as possible. We are just waiting for the last few already included centres to submit their data. 
The background for not including any more departments is the WHO's decision to update and revise the WHO HPH Standards to include primary care, which might cause changes.
For publications, we will now finalize the main Recognition Project publication in 2016.
This info is circulated to all involved Recognition Project participants.
We look forward to finally publishing this important data and thank all involved for the collaboration!


For participating departments: Please click here to go to Data Collection Packages Access Point.


The WHO HPH Recognition project has included 48 departments from 11 countries:


  • Taiwan: 21
  • Czech Republic: 8
  • Thailand: 4
  • Croatia: 4
  • Slovenia: 3
  • Estonia: 2
  • Japan: 2
  • Canada: 1
  • Indonesia: 1
  • Malaysia: 1
  • Denmark: 1
For inquiries, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The project aims to evaluate whether a WHO-HPH recognition/certification process generates:
  • More health service deliveries
  • Better health gain for patients and staff
The main hypotheses of the study are that hospital departments undergoing to the recognition process will after one year:
  • Deliver more health promotion services (compared to the departments allocated to the study’s control group who continue their routine clinical practice)
  • Improve health gain for patients and staff (compared to the departments allocated to the study’s control group who continue their routine clinical practice)
The study is designed as an RCT in order to obtain the highest possible level of evidence. The study allocates the hospital departments randomly to one of two groups, where they either:
  • Undergo the Recognition Process immediately = Intervention group
  • Continue their usual routine = Control group
The project is included in the core HPH documents, such as the work plan for the WHO-HPH Memorandum of Understanding and the Global HPH Strategies for 2011-2013 and well as for 2013-2015.
Please click here to download the Scientific Protocol. 


Frequently Asked Questions about the project

Can only HPH member organizations participate this project? 
Answer: Yes, only HPH member hospitals/health servcies can join the WHO-HPH Recognition Project. Bear in mind, however, that anyone who is interested in joining this project would probably make a very good HPH member anyway. We can sign you up for HPH membership fast-track, so you can easily take part in the project without any delay on that front.

What are the steps of the project?
Answer: The steps are exactly the same for both intervention and control group with the exception that the control group performs step 2 through 9 at a 1 year delay. The steps are: 
  1. Inclusion: Agreement and Allocation
  2. Receiving Baseline Package
  3. Data Collection: Internal Audit + Quality Plan
  4. Returning Baseline Package
  5. Implementation of Quality Plan (for 12 months)
  6. Receiving Follow-Up Package
  7. Data Collection; Internal Audit + Revised Quality Plan
  8. Returning Follow-Up Package
  9. Data Validation: Site Visit + Certificate with results
Regarding the 'site visit': Who and how many people will come and for how many days are you going to stay in each country? Do we have to prepare something for your visit besides the materials of the project? 
Answer: The site visits will be only one half day per participating department. It will be 1-2 surveyor(s) from WHO-CC. There is no need to prepare anything special, the surveyor will simply need the assistance of a knowledgeable person within the department, and then he/she will perform the data validation (very similar to the way the departments themselves will collect data).

Regarding the certificate: What is the value of it and by whom is it issued?
Answer: The certificate is issued by WHO-CC and International HPH Network. In fact, there are two certificates. The first certificate is the one you receive when you join the project (a participant certificate). The second one is the completion certificate, which shows the department's improvement in terms of HPH performance and gives a "bronze, silver, or gold" status. In the future, we hope that all HPH hospitals across the world will try to move towards recognized high levels of performance in the field of HPH, and the way to assess this is, in fact, part of what this research project looks at. So, your department will be part of an exclusive group of HPH "pioneers".

What kinds of benefits do the participants achieve by joining the project besides from the certificate?
Answer: The participants get to be part of a very large international research project. They get to pioneer and spearhead the “latest and greatest” in the world of HPH. They will be part of an international group containing some of the most proactive HPH departments worldwide - and that includes sharing of information, experience, and knowledge, both during and after the project. They get credited/acknowledged in international scientific publications (as relevant, see project documentation). When the main project has finished, they also get a very easy and relevant way to quickly produce scientific articles themselves on the national results from the project, if they whish to do so. In some cases, the WHO-CC even lends technical support to such undertakings. But more than anything else, the participants of the project receive a special "HPH Package", which makes doing HPH at a very high level easy. In this way, the project is like a cookbook and with the recipe it gives, you can make great changes in the way your department does HPH work and quality management work in general. Also, this cookbook makes you a better chef, as by taking part in this project, you are also training yourself and your staff and reorienting your department towards more and better HPH and higher quality.

Does the participants need to pay anything to take part in this project?
Answer: No, the participants only need to pay their own participation and expenses on their end. There is no fee to participate.
Please explain more about 'RCT' and 'CCT' designs
Answer: This project is a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) and it creates the highest possible evidence-level for any singular study. This project is randomized, using computerized allocation of departments in blocks of unknown sizes (a task performed by an independent researcher who is not involved in the project otherwise). Also, it uses a stratified approach where each country's departments have a randomization pool of their own. A Controlled Clinical Trial (CCT) is non-randomized (and not relevant in relation to this project).

Regarding the 'Quality Plan': Is the Quality Plan made by the participants themselves? Will we receive a template to make the plan?
Answer: Yes it is made by each participating department on the basis of their own collected data, so it addresses their own specific challenges, goals, and wishes for improvement. But there is no need to re-invent the wheel! In fact, this is a very easy step because we supply you with a template plan that you simply fill in and customize according to your local circumstances.

If we start the project late, will we still be implementating it for 12 months?
Answer: The total time is still 12 months of implementation of the initial quality plan that you make. Then you revise the plan and then the second round of data collection etc. A delayed start does not matter much. It just means the project goes on for a little longer in some countries with later starts.
Is the procedure and contents for the control group exactly the same as for the intervention group but just after one year?
Answer: Yes, it is exactly the same just delayed by one year. This allows us to do cross comparisons, for instance of those that have been working on the project for one year and those that have been working on it for two years.
Should all of our collected data and materials be sent by e-mail or post?
Answer: Whatever is easiest for you. Normally, all surveys are done online, and all additional materials are sent by either post or e-mail. Whichever way you chose is fine. We will agree on this procedure together with each country, once the departments are signed up and ready to start.