Explaining why data are missing from comparative quality reports improves the transparency and consumer-friendliness of reports, thus facilitating an understanding of differences in quality. In turn, this improves consumers' confidence in the data and motivates and enables their use of the information in decision-making. Consumers typically do not know how to interpret statements of missing data. Some consumers even state that health professionals with missing data are doing worse than those with the lowest ratings or scores.

Providing clear missing data explanations may improve consumers' response to health professionals without data, as well as health professional engagement in reporting activities.