Location Types

What is it?

Ribbon Location Types help identify the category of facility that best describes a service location, which can be helpful in determining what type of care can be received there. There are 30 distinct location types across imaging centers, clinics, urgent care, ambulatory centers, hospitals, and more. In the Locations Directory, a location is marked as having zero, one, or multiple location types, depending on the signal Ribbon has received from different sources.

Why is this useful?

Location Types are instrumental in directing patients to the right care. This is especially important in care situations where patients or users expect a facility or institution to appear in search instead of an individual clinician. For example, it may be more useful to search for 'imaging centers' rather than 'radiologists' depending on the required tests. Or a patient may need care at a nearby hospital and it doesn't matter which provider they're seeing.

Similar to Specialties, our customers typically interact with this feature by creating some sort of "select" functionality (e.g. a drop-down, or a fuzzy search) that interacts with the /location_types reference index and then passes the selected options to a search in the /locations endpoint.


Ribbon aggregates location type data from a variety of sources, including payer directories, medical claims, and publicly available data. Due to the inherent data complexity, Ribbon employs techniques including medical claims analysis, source alignment, and text analysis to accurately determine a location type. Ribbon aims to assign as granular of a location type as possible, but also doesn't label a location unless there is sufficient signal to confidently recommend it as that location type. This is to avoid harmful false positives (for example, a patient going to a location that is mislabeled as an urgent care center).