About Mercy

Interpretation Services

Mercy’s Interpretation Services Department provides free medical interpretation services and assistive communication equipment to any Mercy patient, family member or employee upon request.

CONTACT: Weekdays 8am-4pm: (515) 247-8255 or 643-7446 (TTY) or interpreter@mercydesmoines.org

Our interpreters are specially trained to work in a health care environment, and are required to have a thorough understanding of current medical terminology. In addition, staff must comply with patient/provider confidentiality policies and meet quality assurance criteria.

In-person interpretation services are available for a variety of languages, including:

  • American Sign Language (ASL)
  • Bosnian (Serbo-Croatian)
  • Spanish

In addition, Mercy offers interpretation services via telephone for all language groups, Video Relay Interpreting, TTY and other assistive equipment.

Mercy believes in the inherent dignity and right of all people to be treated with respect and genuine personal concern. Our community has recently experienced an increase in immigrant, refugee and other non-English speaking populations. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, one out of every 10 Des Moines area residents now communicates using a language other than English.

Language barriers can severely impair patient-provider communication, lead to improper diagnosis or treatment, result in life-threatening medical errors and can even keep some patients and families from seeking much-needed medical attention. Mercy understands that it must overcome these barriers in order to ensure that every central Iowan has access to high quality health care.

To that end, Mercy formalized its Interpretation Services Department in 2002, and now provides more than 15,600 hours of services to patients and employees each year. 

Consulting Services

Members of Mercy’s Interpretation Services staff are available for a variety of consulting needs, including:

  • Ensuring cultural and linguistic competency
  • Understanding and complying with legal mandates
  • Writing and implementing policies
  • Providing interpreters to clients
  • Improving access to services for persons with limited English proficiency

For more information, please call (515) 247-8255 or 643-7446 (TTY).

(515) 247-3121
1111 6th Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50314

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