In the last 20 years, there have been many developments in health promoting hospitals and health services (HPH), particularly in Europe. In Australia, health promotion (HP) programs are being conducted in the hospital setting; however, developments related to the HPH concept have been slower. To identify the effects and benefits of a health service working under the HPH banner, and to assist HP practitioners in advocacy and planning for their health service to become an HPH, we conducted a literature review. Eight studies met the criteria of research on HPH or evaluation of HP programs within an HPH framework. Seven key themes were identified in these studies. Enablers and barriers to HPH development were analyzed and discussed within these themes. This review found a dearth of high-level research on HPH. In particular, there were few Australian studies. There is limited evidence, therefore, of the efficacy of HPH. Much more high-level research and dissemination of the findings are needed in order to encourage policy-makers and health service administrators to invest resources in HPH and to support the work of HP practitioners interested in developing their health service into an HPH.