I'm tryng to help implement a system that tracks patients and physician information (and other stuff). I really hope someone that has experiecnes implementing Person Accounts can help me here.

My client has enabled Person Account.

Person accounts are used to model patients, business accounts are used to model physician's office, and then Contacts are used to model physicians. In fact, I have renamed Accounts to Patients, and Contacts to Physicians, so now you see "Patients" tab and "Physicians" tab.

So for example, I am a patient, King Koo, so there is a person account. I have a doctor called "Dr Wong" - which takes up a contact record, and finally, his clinic is called "Dr Wong Clinic" which takes up a business account.

Now, this is the part where I'm having some challenges.

1) The Account now has person accounts (Patients) and business accounts (Clinics). So that led me to wonder, should I have renamed Accounts to Patients? Can I have two Account tabs, one for showing the person accounts, and one for showing the business accounts?

2) I have originally renamed "Account Name" to "Patient Name" so that when I'm looking at the record for "King Koo", I'll see Patient Name is King Koo.

However, when I go to the physician record for "Dr Wong", (which is a Contact record, and as you know Account Name is a required field for Contact), you now again see "Patient Name", but that's where I meant to input "Dr Wong Clinic". The fact that the physician record showing a field called "Patient Name" just does not make sense.

I would really like to see "Patient Name" in the form for patients, and like to see "Clinic Name" in the form for physicians.

Is it do-able?

Thanks a lot King

  • Hi guys One more question - right now the relationship between Patients and Physicians is via the Owner field on Patients. Again does it make sense? The client is a service provider, and their staff will be the one entering patient information. So initially, since the staff is doing the input, the patient will belong to the client. After saving the patient, they will have to make the extra step to change the owner to a physician. I'm wondering if this is how you would've done it. Thanks King
    – kingkoo
    Commented Mar 22, 2014 at 23:43

1 Answer 1


It is doable, but would require you reworking a vast amount of the standard Account functionality with Visualforce and Apex.

I would probably recommend sticking with the default account naming conventions, or something generalized that works for the business.

Another option would be to ditch using Person Accounts and create a custom object called "Patients". You would then have the option to name things as you wish, and have greater control over how objects and fields interact with one another.

  • 1
    Couple of thoughts. If you know your app will be the only one ever in the org, then renaming might help. But if your customer wants to add other apps (including using Salesforce ones), renaming is a bad idea as it is a global choice and so will introduce confusing naming in the other apps too. On introducing your own object, unfortunately standard objects have special capabilities not available to custom objects such as the way FirstName/LastName/Name is handled, state and country picklists, and some APIs are only usable with the right standard object ID. So it is a decision to take with care.
    – Keith C
    Commented Mar 23, 2014 at 11:05

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